1. Friends for a moment
2. Friends for a season
3. Friends for a lifetime
Now I have to confess, I am blessed with the third category, I have dear, sweet, wonderful friends who really know me, and have been part of my life for years. Ten years, fifteen years, more… geez now I am feeling old, but you get my drift. Those people who come into your life and even when you don’t get to talk to them for an age, when you do pick up it is as if nothing ever changes.
It’s the first two types of friendship that I have been thinking about;
First those interactions that were fleeting but shaped your thoughts and ideals, the people who shared a word or an idea that moulded your own, that you look back on and you wonder how a mere brush with another being can be so influential on your own.
The second group, are the hardest for me, I know and appreciate that things have a beginning, a middle and an end, and quite often circumstances change resulting in an enforced premature end, a move to a different country, a move of job, the change of a person’s need.
I was reflecting today on a few of these friendships that have lasted a season, how these encounters have moulded my life; taught me or made me aware of new skills; were available for merely a finite period of time. The funny thing is, as I reflect back, I was never the one to end them, it was either the other party or circumstance. So when I look back it is with fondness mixed with melancholy.
I remember at University the boys who were my friends (and since I studied Engineering, most of my cohorts were boys) well, they were friends until they found themselves a girl friend. Then as circumstances changed they’d come back. I understand this totally, it happens all the time, you fall in love and want to spend every waking minute with that person, and other relationships fall through the cracks. I am sure I have been guilty of it myself, I just wonder if they were conscious of their actions. It was this kind of friendship that eventually ran its course. The season ended as did the friendship.
Nowadays the world seems to be getting smaller, I am sure the interactions we have with others is far more than it’s ever been, with the influx of Facebook and twitter people can communicate with complete strangers and become friends without ever meeting.
I am by no means deriding these interactions, sometimes sharing with those that have no real investment into your situation other than the fact they care, allows you to be more free with your thoughts creating a deeper bond. I also understand how many people think these connections hold less value, I disagree totally, to me a friend is a friend no matter how you meet, it is the friendship that is important.
Recently I have experienced a few friendships that could be categorised as lasting a season and they are missed now they have gone. I suppose at the end of the day I am greedy, if a friendship is good I want it to last forever, but then again it kind of does in memories and how it’s impacted on your life.