I was talking to a friend on the phone last night, and the subject of different kinds of friends found itself lain across our mobile table. Not so much different kinds of friends, but more, the places in our hearts where friends will settle.
We have the one or two (or seven if that’s your fancy) friends we speak to almost daily via phone and text or even, dare I venture – bustle and hustle as it will, this life – in person. These are the dear ones in our worlds who hold a live stream of knowing, a play-by-play of our daily doings. Cramps, bad news after tax-preparing, particularly mind-blowing sex, a delicious pizza, a guilty sundae, a surprise bouquet, a passing sadness, a fight with a spouse about I-can’t-even-remember; they are the trivials, the days-to-days, those moments not quite worth writing home about, yet we do, when our dear ones can be considered home, and a call or a text can stand in for the writing of years’ past.
Then, there are those up in whose lives we may not be so tangled. These are the long distance darlings, the once-per-year-or-three sweetness of a two hour phone call, the flowers who bloom in our worlds when times go a’jumpin’. The highest highs and the lowest lows, these friends wait at our edges and when we talk, it’s as if but a single day has passed rather than years. Engagements and marriages and babies and deaths, tears of both colors, we share.
I got to that thinking thing I tend to do. The thinking was a wondering, a wondering if I should be making more an attempt to toss out lines, put a few extra anchors in, a phone call for the sake of holding those bonds strong.
Then it hit me, as I sat in the theater under lighting dimmed and recessed: I think, in my kingdom, that some friends can and do live happily in that place. Those with whom we bond will always be there. That bond is a root system that will feed the friendship tree in all seasons. The worth of a friend is not in their address. Some live next door, some, a day’s travel upon horseback across a wooded countryside, and in meeting, there is always a quiet comfort, a warmth in the silence of knowing that the love burned just as bright in the years you were away.
No matter if we skip 10 yards barefoot to borrow sugar or an ear, or pack our bags for the long journey to a door not often called upon, we are always met with love, and without both kinds of friends, the kingdom of our hearts would surely fall.
Photo credit: Chip Litherland