Many things improve with age – wine, cheese, linen, and leather boots –and friendship. This week friends from my past came into town. We’ve known each other for over 40 years though my move to Arizona impacted on the past 25. We’ve seen each other occasionally – a visit to their neck of the woods once in awhile; their AZ vacations a time or two. But overall, Christmas cards, photos and a few emails have been our connection for some time.
And yet, when they walked through my front door yesterday, the years simply melted away, and for two hours we talked nonstop as if we’d seen each other last week. Sure, there was the usual catching up on the lives of our children, health, and the weather. But there was also a deeper connection of our commonalities.
Travel to Europe and the U.K., ethical considerations and concerns about the country, the desire for a quieter, more peaceful life, and how it feels to be 70. From house decorating to crafts to gardening, we segued from topic to topic with the ease of old friends. Never a moment of awkwardness or tension. D and I helped each other through pregnancies, husbands who worked too many hours, babysitting, shopping, daily phone conversations, trips along snow packed highways to one destination or another, children’s birthday parties, company picnics and Christmas parties, bar-b-que on the deck overlooking our acreage, Easter egg hunts, Halloween costumes and trick-or-treating. The list is long.
There is something about friendships that form in your 20’s that keep you bonded for life. Perhaps because those are the years when we struggle to find ourselves, when we marry and have children and begin careers and simply get our starts in life. Those memories stay with us forever, and perhaps say the most about who we have become at fifty, sixty and seventy. We were young and a bit naïve and innocent. We were going to change the world. We supported and loved each other as we did it.
And whether we remain in the same city or move a thousand miles away, that connection is made of stone. When my husband and I decided to leave the state and all those close friendships, we broke the bond for a period of time. People get upset when you leave them. But time has healed all of that, and tomorrow over lunch, I’m certain it will feel like we’ve never been apart.