My eldest daughter, Alexis, suggested I write about friends.
American, Maxwell Maltz, creator of the Psycho-Cybernetics said, “If you make friends with yourself you will never be alone.” Then again, Maltz was also a plastic surgeon so I guess he could make you look different every time you checked the mirror! "Oh look. I've got a new, oohh and younger, friend."
I like being alone. Love the quiet blanket of solitude that settles upon me when I'm alone and the world and all its happenings drift away like a cruise ship leaving port for open waters. I stand on shore, wave good-bye and turn into myself, content to be alone, to have this time to myself. This moment where the house is quiet and just the steady ticking of the front hall clock measures out time passing.
I love the tick, tick of a mechanical clock. When I was growing up my father had a collection of clocks. Every wall, every counter had a clock, of every possible description. Sometimes, he'd set their chimes to ring consecutively. Some clocks only rang on the hour. But some, perhaps a handful, also ran on the quarter hour. It made for interesting conversations when a clock would chime and then the next and then the next every fifteen minutes.
At night, I'd lay in my bed and fall asleep to the gentle ticking of the clocks outside my bedroom door. The only time I hated those clocks was when I awoke in the middle of the night to just one reprise of the quarter hour chiming. I'd lie in bed for the next forty-five minutes, waiting for the hour to be announced by the little cuckoo bird, or the grandfather clock in the hall. It never crossed my mind to get up and go and check the clock. I'd wait in sleepless irritation for the passing of time.
Like my father's clock's, my friends are treasured. Each unique. Each with their own special song. Their presence in my life a constant metronome keeping time to the rhythm of my heartbeat. Their love, a continuous chime of melodious sound marking the passing of each moment of my life. I don't always see my friends, but I know they're there. I know that all I have to do is wait, and like the chime on the quarter hour, they'll appear to brighten up my day, mark the passing of another special occasion.
My friends understand my past. They accept my foibles and embrace me, just the way I am. Without my friends Nan and Jane, I wouldn't be alive today. When I was in the death throes of that relationship from hell, it was Nan and Jane who would not give up on finding me. Who would not let the police give up searching. My friends trust me. I trust them. We know that our futures are not determined by time past, but rather, by the passing of time today when we share in the joy of who we are, together and apart.
Life is richer with them. Whether I'm alone or spending time like last night, sharing dinner and laughter with two very dear friends or awakening to an email that makes me laugh and sit in awe of the creativity and love of my friends, my life is a tapestry made more vibrant because of my friends.
Friendship is a river of love. When I am in its flow, I am living the truth that fills my life with richness. Giving is receiving. The more love I give. The more I receive.
The question is: Are you a good friend? To have a friend, we must be a friend. Is your friendship steady, like the ticking of a clock? Or are you a fair-weather friend who scurries away like a cuckoo bird after ringing out the hour, only to appear again, sometime down the road when the hour has past and time and friends have marched on without you?