Friday, September 05, 2008

On friendship...

Over the last couple of years I've read a lot of women's fiction. The plots of the majority of these books revolve around friendship. At this point, I find I really enjoy reading about the ways in which people bond and how they share the good and the bad in life.

In August the bonds of friendship were made more clear than ever to me when two close friends of mine visited us here on the Coast. One of them I hadn't seen in more than two years and yet it felt as though no time at all had gone by. Granted, we've known each other now for, gulp, 28 years, so it really shouldn't come as any surprise. Still, it was wonderful to stand on my in-laws' deck the evening the arrived and sip wine as we watched the kids play in the water and just chat without even really having to think about what to say. The conversation just flowed.

The same thing happened again two weeks later when my other friend came to stay. We became friends through a bizarre happenstance related to our shared love of reading and writing historical fiction, but it turned out we already knew each other in passing.

I firmly believe that people come into our lives at the times we need them to, that certain people are fated to meet. That first friend and I were also at university together, both met our husbands there and stayed friends when grad school etc took us in different directions. When she and her husband moved back to Ottawa in the mid-90s, we picked up easily and though we didn't see each other all that frequently, we all remained close. At high school we found we had certain things in common (well, except for the fact she was brilliant at math and science and I, well, let's just say we didn't share many classes in the upper grades *g*) and our husbands share a love of machinery and we all love to ski. But it goes deeper than that, in some intangible way. We connect and have shared each others ups and downs over the years.

It's much the same with my second friend. Yet she and I had obviously been brought together for a reason - our fathers both died of cancer within six weeks of each other in 2001. We helped each other through that and through several more difficult experiences. Though we often go for more than a year without being physically in each other's company, the connection remains. And so it was two weeks ago. I believe we only stopped talking while we were sleeping *g*.

The nature of friendship is one that still mystifies me. I've met people with who, theoretically, I should get along really well, yet that click never quite happens. OTOH, I've become close to others who might seem diametrically opposed to me on the surface, yet underneath we discover a common bond.

In the end, I think it goes back to what Anne of Green Gables gushed about so endearingly when she met Diana Barry - kindred spirits. Those with who we feel instantly at home and to who we feel we can confide anything and know it will be safe. I've been blessed in my life with several other kindred spirits than the two mentioned above, most of whom I don't see often enough. Yet I know it doesn't matter, that when we do see each other, we'll pick up exactly where we left off.

The same applies to some of you who I've met only through blogland - you've proven to be true kindred spirits, no matter our medium of communication. And I'm so happy we met.

Do you too ponder these kinds of intangibles? Or am I just being way too introspective?


Currently Reading: Flora's Lot by Katie Fforde
Link of the Day: Carrie Lofty's Craft page - with a great article on "Picking and Choosing History"

1 comment:

Melissa Marsh said...

What an excellent post, Tess. I have such a friend that sometimes I don't even speak to for months on end, yet it doesn't matter - when we do eventually connect (our lives are freakishly busy), it's like we never went those months without speaking. It's a wonderful thing.

I wish she lived closer. I wish that I had friends my age that I could just call up and say, "Hey, let's go hang out." I'm slowly getting to know more people, even though I've been here 5 years, but I tend to be a bit picky about who my friends are, having been burned more than one by those who I thought were sincere but were anything but.

What is the saying? "I'd rather have one true friend than a dozen false ones?" Something like that.

Great post, Tess. Thanks for sharing.

BTW - I have a feeling that if we ever meet face-to-face, we'd be gabbing non-stop, too!