A quiet evening. Everyone in bed. All that is left is the fluttering wings of insects trapped in the hot box with us as we have closed the doors tonight. We operate without a screen door to our backyard, but relish the cross breeze enough to put up with a few unsavory annoyances.
Nostalgia has been the name of the game lately. The 25 Year Reunion occurred and I did not attend. Honestly, I connect more with people via Facebook than any other way, and, besides, I was not a socialite in high school. I liked and respected most of my peers, but do pick and choose whose life events to follow. Thanks to this rush of nostalgia, just this week I have reconnected with seven or eight people. The death of someone I have known since kindergarten has had a significant effect on my level of sentimentality, and that is only fitting, as I am sure he was unaware the influence he had on me throughout life. He had taste and a swaggering-ish confidence that was heavily dosed with kindness. A couple of characteristics I can admit I lack.
In any case, everything over the past month has drawn me closer to those with whom I connect on multiple levels. The Irish Bird Assassin in particular. Maybe sharing our grief together opened new doors on my end as far as friendship goes. I am surprisingly reticent at truly giving myself over in friendship. Make no mistake, I am gregarious, approachable (most days) and friendly, but friendship is something else. Something far more important. I have many people with whom I am friendly and many of those for whom I would do much. But there are few true friends in my circle, and it is no exaggeration to say they mean the world to me.
They open my heart, challenge my preconceptions and inform my view of life. They have effects upon me that far exceed the effect they believe they have. And there is significant beauty in the fact they are ignorant of the fact they are amazing. It makes them more “real”. More spiritually energizing. And the members of this circle change and come and go. Every entrance and exit is a time for celebration or reflection.
Because isn’t that what is at stake here? The ability to have an effect on others, the ability to do it without even knowing we are simply through the sheer force of love. My friend tonight said she loved me. And it truly was a spiritual awakening for me – to feel the love of another through the miles and know that it is truth.
The love of a friend is truly a free love – open and giving and without expectation of reciprocation. It is pure and not as rare as you would believe. When a man/god delivered a message of love some 2000-ish years ago, the love that exists in friendship was the best model of love available, and the one he used most.
I will take my handful of true friends and face anything, anywhere.