November 15, 2007
Friends I've Never Met...
It's the strangest thing how much you can come to value the friendship of someone you've never met. Now maybe "friendship" seems too strong a word to use, but to me the word expresses a degree of connection beyond mere acquaintance. Alice Goldsmith, a widow who lives here in Maine, has been a faithful reader of this blog since I started writing it, and I value her comments. When I stopped writing for a while she gently chided me, telling me that she missed the entries. She has shared some sorrows and some memories, and for both I thank her.
In the summertime I set out flower bouquets on the rock wall at the foot of our driveway for people to take; they can just help themselves. I love giving away beauty, and I've come to learn how much these flowers often mean to people, folks who wave, drop off a thank you note, or, best of all, pass the flowers on to someone else whose life may need brightening. I seldom know what the men, women and kids who take the flowers look like, I don't often know where they live, whether they went to college, what their dog's name is, or anything whatsoever about them, but we are most definitely friends. There is a connection centered on something important, perhaps essential, to both of us.
I've written before about what community is, what it means, why it is so intrinisically important to us. I think friends we've never met are part of the fabric of a well-woven community, one that can offer warmth whatever chill may come into our individual lives. So on this cold, dreary, November afternoon, I hope you think of several friends you've never actually met, and maybe even think about who might consider you in that way.
As the old saying goes, to have a friend, you have to be friend, but you know something? That doesn't have to mean best buds since kindergarten, or similar backgrounds and shared values.
Friendship can be of this moment and in this place where these two minds have met and come away the better from the connection, no matter how fragile or transitory it may seem.
Thank you for being a friend!
P.S. Next week we'll start on tons of Christmas gift ideas, frugal ideas because it sure looks as though money is going to be tight for just about everyone this year!