The past couple days I have pondered on the seasons of friendship. As I was out walking our dear little puppy yesterday the Girl Scout song came into my mind, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.”
This thought brought memories of friends rushing into my mind, long forgotten memories and those that are fresh even though they happened years ago.
What precipitated much of this thinking, I believe, is an upcoming baby shower for my daughter. She made a guest list and her mother in law added names to the list. On first thought, I am certain that many of you would think, “Oh no.” Our circumstance is different though, as I have known my son-in-law since he was 9 years old. His Mom is a trusted and ‘gold’ friend. Several of the women on her list are old and dear friends.
This past Monday night my phone rang consistently with rsvp’s. The first call was from a friend who now is in Mississippi. We have shared many, many things together including the death of her dear husband who now walks the streets of gold with our Heavenly Father. I haven’t talked with her in several years. I don’t know why, it is just the way things go at times, isn’t it? It was a good conversation, we caught up, but I hung up the phone thinking that although it was wonderful to talk with her, it wasn’t a conversation that really touched my heart. It was like the season of autumn. You know that beauty lies there, but it is a bit dormant. Not dead, just dormant.
Immediately after hanging up from Mississippi, Pittsburgh called. This is a golden one for sure. We have been good friends since fourth grade. We have been through many autumns in our history. We have been through several winters also. For the past year we are in the season of spring in our friendship. Re-ignited, fresh and growing in a new direction as we have both experienced life changing moments this past year and we reached out to one another during those times.
An hour after hanging up from Pittsburgh, Oil City (yes, you read that right), PA called. Definitely a golden oldie. We have known each other since kindergarten. I doubled dated on her first date with her husband, they introduced me to mine. Conversations with her are likened to family. They surpass all seasons because you know she is always going to be there. We may irritate one another, but we understand each other, just like family.
We moved to a new city almost three years ago. I left my friends in our old city. I didn’t realize it would be like tearing my arm off when we said good-bye to them. They had been in the silver group to me for so long that I did not see that many of them had changed their makeup to become golden to me.
All of this pondering led me to where we are now. I have one friend that is strongly in the silver class, and the rest I only consider acquaintances. This week has been a hard one for my silver friend. As we have talked and emailed, it occurred to me that this woman is in strong running to also changing her make up from silver to gold. Thinking on this blessed me.
I have to say, that this past week, I have also found that there are women who have recently come into my life via this blogging adventure. I didn’t expect that to happen. One, in particular, has blessed me so very much. She mentioned being a kindred spirit. That is a phrase I have used, but only once. Kindred spirits bypass all the colors and seasons, they finish thoughts and sentences. I think if it were ever possible, we could be a dangerous duo. I love how our Lord sees us as we are. He sees us as we write these blogs with our cup of coffee or tea or whatever our beverage of choice is. He sees us as we survey our surroundings, possibly mail needing sorted or dishes needing to be put away or even school books calling us to do homework. Our Lord sees us in these situations. He hears the desire of our heart as we try to write humorous or serious or touching posts. With what He watches us doing, He then directs the path of people whom He created to be kindred spirits even via the internet. Hearts are touched, feeling alone or different passes and a smile crosses our faces. He is at work in the world.
All this pondering also made me think of my daughter’s mother in law. We have been through so many seasons. Those seasons also held not just the ideal thought, but there have been gale force winds, drought, monsoons and blizzards. But, as I think about the years past and the years to come I saw the image of an antique store in my mind, one that has a jewelry case in it. In those jewelry cases are pieces of gold. Not the bright shiny gold that is in the mall stores, but old gold. Gold that has a warm patina, not bright, but old and worn. The gold that you look at and know there is a story or stories behind its existence. I am grateful for my old golden friend. It is rare to have such a piece. They come at great cost and often times lots of heartache and tears. It is my hope that those of you who may be reading this are blessed with a friend who is an antique gold piece.
So, for those who are silver and those who are gold, thank you for being friends. It is the greatest gift one can receive from our Heavenly Father.
As always, DAF