Saturday, August 21, 2010

Full Circle Friendship

This week we thoroughly enjoyed a visit with some friends who are old to us in some ways, and new to us in others. We met her many years ago, and immediately liked her, but circumstances intervened in the middle years, and we fell completely out of touch with each other, and only when our kids were born did our paths manage to cross again.

When we did begin connecting with each other again, we both shook our heads and wondered why in the world we let all of that time pass without actively pursuing our friendship. Our husbands were complete strangers to each other, but instantly found a rapport and a common ground which is impossible to manufacture. It's either there or it's not, and with these two, it was there in spades.

So much of life is like ships passing in the night, coming and going without really cementing a firm connection with people. And other times, you have a connection and you lose it because of circumstances, illness or other people getting in the way. When you find it again, it's like a gift that you realize holds tremendous value, and you don't ever want to let it slip through your fingers again.

Couple friendships are tough to negotiate, because there are now relationship dynamics going on between four different people. Often you get along with one member of the couple and not the other, and tension starts to surface as a result. When all four people like each other, it's as if the heavens have opened and the angels are singing. It all becomes very easy, and relaxed, and fun.

That's what it's like with these friends. We seem to have a shorthand between us that requires no interpretation. We understand each other, and don't have to censor any opinions or ideas. No topic is off limits. We share a basic worldview and value system, and that provides a jumping-off point for the relationship to grow and flourish, even after many years where it was cut off and virtually non-existent.

It's good to know that some friendships are meant to be, and can withstand the onslaught that comes against them. Perhaps that's why we value this one so deeply, because it was almost taken from us, but in time found a way to grow again. Never say never when it comes to people you once loved. People can change, and circumstances will change, but sometimes it all comes back full circle in a very satisfying way.