And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.
– Kahlil Gibran
I was reminded today of a book I once owned: The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran. Through the powers of the internet I found several quotes of his , including my favourite (the one above). I first fell in love with this quote when I was about 20 years old. But at 20, how much can you really understand the importance of quotes like this? At 20, how much do you really understand the importance of friendships? Think back to who your best friends were when you were 20 years old. How many of them would you still consider best friends?
Tomorrow one of my very best friends, who I have known for more than 20 years*, is leaving with her husband and son to live in the UK for 12 months and the US for 3 months on “official navy business.” And I am feeling a little bit lost.
The funny thing is, that even though we have known each other for over 20 years, there’s a big chunk of time in there that we weren’t in contact. It’s not that there was a falling out or anything, it’s just that life took us in separate directions, and this was pre-facebook and really, pre-internet days**.
In the last six months we have become closer than we ever have been throughout the last two decades. It is amazing how when someone is supposed to be in your life, things happen to make sure they’re there.
She’s one of those friends who it doesn’t matter if there is nothing to talk about, just being in each others presence is enough. But that’s not something you ever have to worry about, because you can say anything and everything and it is all the same and it is all good. And sometimes, you don’t have to say anything, because you already know what the other person is thinking.
We even showed up to girls lunch (with other lovelies from high school) wearing the same top and same jeans. The only difference was she wore boots and I wore heels. How is that for connected?
I am going to miss her terribly. But am thankful for facebook and skype and modern technology in general, to keep us in touch this time we are separated by oceans and continents.
This quote means more to me now. Now that I am older and really feel and acknowledge the importance of friends. Friends you can share the good and bad with, who you can laugh with, cry with, who you need, because they enrich your life, not because you are bored or because you go to the same educational institution and share classes. Friends who refresh your heart and your soul, simply because they.get.you.
Your friend is your needs answered.
He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.
And he is your board and your fireside.
For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.
* I can’t believe I am old enough to say I have friends I’ve known for over 20 years
** Yes, I do realise that in a few short years, we will be as ancient to the next generation as those who lived “before the time of the telephone!” were to us.