Yesterday was National Friendship Day, and we can’t let that go by without a mention. Last night I scribbled down a few ideas about what makes a great friend and how to nurture your friendships, but everything I wrote sounded cliche and sophomoric because, really, drilling down to a specific definition of friendship is like trying to describe a great work of art.
Friendship is more an emotion or feeling.
And feelings are difficult to describe.
We sort of throw around the word friend, don’t we? We have lots of “virtual” friends on-line, and we even use the word “friend” as a verb.
There’s nothing wrong with any of this, as long as we remember what true friendship really looks like.
I can count my truest best-est friends on one (maybe two) hands. These friends are woven into my life story like favorite stuffed animals or well-loved board games or my teeny-tiny cheerleader uniform that hangs in the closet back home on the farm. I feel these friends in the trees lining the street in front of the junior high building, now boarded up, but still standing. These friends float in the clouds over Mississippi County. And when there are no clouds, they live in the air. Always.
New friends can be just as important because they “get” you in the here and now and understand where you want to go.
Friendships, old and new, are worth nurturing. And there are lots of simple (yet often overlooked) ways to nurture, like being an encourager, reaching out regularly, reconnecting, and making your friendship a high priority. Just DO IT. These are the people who will always be there for you. No matter what.
Have you ever clicked with someone immediately and knew you would be friends from that point on? That’s how I feel about my friend, Dorothy Johnson. Dorothy and I met four years ago at a writer’s retreat. She’s one of those naturally giving people who’s welcoming and warm and super duper kind. After spending time with her, I walk away feeling better about every little thing.
We share common interests including writing and blogging, and we both love Arkansas. She just happens to have the most stunning view in the whole entire state. I’m a little jealous. It happens.
It’s become the norm for me that whenever I’m in Little Rock (which seems often these days), I stay with Dorothy and her husband, Terry. They take me right in and make me feel at home.
For the few hours I’m there, the guest room is mine. Can you see how comfy “my” bed is? It’s a wonder I ever leave. Seriously, there’s nothing like crisp white sheets.
I have more than one favorite place to sit and write because, again, that view.
Her kitties have bonded with me.
After my most recent trip, I thought about how lucky I am to have connected with Dorothy because deep down true friends are special and rare and not to be taken for granted.
Maybe this is my simplest meaning of friendship—hanging out and being comfortable and laughing and chatting about anything or nothing remarkable at all. And eating chocolate and drinking wine and feeling grateful to enjoy such a stunning view of life.
Y’all be sure to follow Dorothy’s blog HERE. Her posts will give you a lift and remind you of the important things. And look for her debut novel hopefully coming soon! I’ll keep you posted.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
P.S. I’m linking up with my Northwest Arkansas Blogger group, and you can click HERE to see what others have to say. Follow them too!
Lucy and Ethel, If You’re Ever in a Mess (couldn’t resist this classic!)