What friends are for…..

After what seems like a race to the finish I finally boarded a plane to Paris on Monday for a long awaited trip to visit my dear friends there and spend time in my favorite city away from home (I do admit that I love Dallas, and so it still stands as my favorite city). And as much as I adore the architecture, the feel of the culture, the different way they do almost everything in Paris, seeing my friends is the real draw to being here.

Who would I be without my friends? They are my anchors in what would be a much different type of existence if I didn’t have them. The are my teachers. They are my mirrors. They challenge and support me at the same time. They keep me humble and give me much needed wake-up calls.

The best thing about my friends is that when I don’t know what to do, I know whom to ask–which is invaluable, as well as life-saving. Today I got a really strange email from a guy I dated for a few months and had sort of let drift away, and I was so surprised to get it, I had no idea what to do with it. So I forwarded it to my best friend and asked her what she would do. The answer was so ideal, I’m going to share it. She wrote:

“OK. Here’s what I thought when I read the email. Uh. Not bad but not good either… a part of being open to meeting new people. Then I had this vision of swimming up-stream in lovely slow moving water and that email is just an autumn leaf floating by. I wouldn’t answer it, I’d just notice it and let it float on by.”

I can’t imagine a better response, much less a more poetic one. Now that’s what friends are for!

So here I am in Paris with friends I haven’t seen for a year and it is if I saw them yesterday. We pick up in the middle of the last conversation and continue it. I see the baby I have known since before she was born and she runs to me with complete recognition! The bond between us is as strong as the one I have with her mother. The last time I was here she was 6 months old, so how can she remember me? My guess is that she just feels the love I have for her….

I walk arm in arm with a dear girl who has shared some of the most important passages of her life with me and I can’t imagine who I would be if I didn’t know her. Our contact between visits is fairly minimal, as we both have very busy lives. But the depth between us is unshakable.

And I talk into the night with another woman I have known for nine years who has taken longer to truly open up to me, but who I haved loved seeing blossom into her authentic self over those years. These are all unique friendships that each serve me in a unique way. And they are so much a part of the fabric of my being that I know they have influenced and changed me, as I have affected their lives. Thank God for them, and thank God I know this! Thank God for my friends!

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