The Preciousness of Friendship

I saw my best friend from childhood, S., last year. It did not matter that we are now middle-aged and that we have missed decades of each other’s lives. We talked for hours about the years that shaped us and things we might have sensed as teenagers but never discussed then – family secrets, private struggles. What a gift to talk about the past, with someone who knew me in a way that no one I met afterwards could ever know me. Long forgotten memories surfaced as we visited our old school together and roamed the streets we knew so well. We gave each other insights that made us more complete, pieces of understanding that connect our adult personality and ways of being with the distant life of childhood and adolescence. I miss her across the Atlantic Ocean.

Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. Anais Nin

We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over. – Ray Bradbury

I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better. – Plutarch

It seems more difficult to establish close friendships as we age (or is that just my experience?). Opportunities to get to know each other deeply and to bond through long conversations and unhurried activities are rare in a fast-paced culture. And so I feel very blessed to have found another friend in recent years. Unlike S. who comes from the same country and culture as I do, my new friend A. comes from a very different culture, with a different language and religion, even a different socioeconomic background.

During these dangerous times of turning those who are different from ourselves into the “other” (and, too often, into the “enemy”), our cross-cultural friendship is particularly precious to me. We do share a lot of things in common: love for nature, literature and writing, life-long learning, standing up for our values, compassion for those less fortunate, pride in being an accomplished professional in our respective fields, maneuvering through American culture as a member of a multi-racial, multi-cultural family.
And – we love taking our cameras for a walk!

We have gotten up at an ungodly hour, wandering along the beach, for the thrill of capturing the sunrise…

and pelicans, appearing out of nowhere, ghost-like, flying inches above the water

I am aware that we get strange looks at times when we walk around together. But, I am hoping, that our friendship will leave its subtle ripples in re-weaving a kinder and more inclusive web of relationships all across this country, all across the world.

To peace and great friendships!

PS.  I feel honored that Cheri Lucas Rowlands included an excerpt from this post on the WordPress Discover site:

The DP Weekly Photo Challenge: Friend.

Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Precious.

About Beauty Along the Road

A blog about discovering beauty in all its ordinary and extraordinary manifestations.
This entry was posted in Healing Ourselves and the Planet, Travel Theme Challenge, Weekly Photo Challenge and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

66 Responses to The Preciousness of Friendship

  1. jkaybay says:

    Well said 🙂
    “But, I am hoping, that our friendship will leave its subtle ripples in re-weaving a kinder and more inclusive web of relationships all across this country, all across the world.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. cindy knoke says:

    How beautifully expressed and reflective of my own experience with friends from long ago, especially now in this phase of my life.


  3. Meg says:

    Just lovely to think about and look at your photos. M


  4. Great photos! Recently I also met up with an old school friend that I had not seen for ages. We visited ‘our’ town and went to look at our neighbourhood and primary school. Numerous stories welled up as we walked there, that was great fun. Old and new friendships are valuable, especially in these restless days.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice, and lovely photos as well.


  6. Osyth says:

    A really lovely and timely take on friendship. I share your hope.


  7. I, too, find making friends more difficult as I age. Still, I hope to continue to make new friends as life is much better when friends share it.


  8. Wonderful words and photos Annette. Yes, I’ve found it harder to make new friends as I age. I’m also pickier about who I want to spend time with. You’re lucky to have friends to share hearts, time and photography. May we spread ripples of love and inclusion…


  9. glendanp says:

    Reblogged this on Ipseity Road and commented:
    Perfection in words and photos! Loved every bit of this!.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. arlene says:

    Lovely quotes about friendship, love your photos.


  11. Syam says:

    Nice post with beautiful words and photos.


  12. neilsonanita says:

    How beautiful. Thank you.


  13. Sageleaf says:

    What a beautiful, moving post. I love, love, love what you say here. Joining hands with someone who’s a little different and we realize that we’re all really the same. Your photos are gorgeous, too. Sending you hugs!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. True friendship is always something extraordinary. You have beautifully expressed it in this post.


  15. annika says:

    Beautiful writing. I too, have an old friend across the ocean and how I miss her so and wish for her to visit so we can visit the places we use to roam in our teenage years. We skype occasionally and each time, we just pick up where we left off the last time. Friendships like these are rare, only we never realize it at the time!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you get to see and visit with your friend and catch up on old times. Since I wrote this post, I got a surprise message on Facebook from a woman I knew in Germany many decades ago. I’ve always wondered what happened to her but couldn’t remember her last name. I know we’ll have lots of stories to share, now that we’ve found each other!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. asqfish says:

    Thank you Annette, this is precious!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Madhu says:

    Beautiful sentiments. “….re-weaving a kinder and more inclusive web of relationships all across this country, all across the world.” amen to that.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Sweet story about your friendship experience and it’s amazing gift of life to have a good friend who you can share your hobby and life with 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Aslı Tatlıadım says:

    I find it that the most amount acceptance is felt when you truly connect with a friend that transcends all boundaries of class, ethnicity, culture, race, sex and gender. They provide the arena of truly just being you without any expectation because they have no expectations. Thank you for this article.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Anarette says:

    To Peace and Friendship across the world!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. taphian says:

    Wonderful and moving


  22. Sue Slaght says:

    Love this post and I am imagining people watching you and your friend and feeling inspired to greater acceptance and inclusiveness.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Tina Schell says:

    A lovely post Annette, well said and well shot. There was just a Harvard study released that said the number 1 influence in aging gracefully and extending life is the quality of our relationships. I agree with all of your comments on this one.


  24. restlessjo says:

    Beautiful! To friendship! 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Annette, such a profound beautiful and genuine post! On so many different levels, but the core of it remains the same, love and friendship. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I love this. The older I get, the more aware I am of the relationships in my life. And the ones we meet later in life really are different than those from our earlier years.


  27. ruthndutah says:

    Wow! It is a beautiful piece.
    There is one thing I like saying that friends are flowers that never fade despite the passing of time the memories remain.


  28. Klausbernd says:

    Wonderful post in every aspect, Annette. The evocative images underline every word. Well done.


  29. Beautiful post on all counts.


  30. How wonderful to have found a simpatico friend. I miss my friend Mario in Oman in that regard. Also, congratulations on the feature. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Not only nice photos but good words as well. Wise words. And when one of the “other” is among your friends gives a strong sense to the word friendship. Love this post, thanks.


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