Last week I hung out with a friend of mine. It was catch up time. We hadn’t connected in awhile. I asked if, instead of meeting for dinner or at a coffee shop, we could sip our hot beverage of choice while strolling the Vancouver seawall.
It was nightfall. The West End was beginning to settle in for the night. The air was refreshing. The sound of the water was peaceful. The boulevard was quiet, with a few evening runners and people walking their dogs.
Amidst the city lights, we shared life. The tales were filled with victories, defeats and self-reflection. My eyes sparkled as I listened to his joy and my shoulders slumped when he shared his hardship.
Also last week, I received a text message from a friend letting me know he lost a close friend in a car accident; another experienced unsettledness and is re-thinking their career; another went through a painful break-up; and one heard the news that her mother has cancer.
All in one week.
I find myself intently aware that circumstances knock on our door unannounced. Our lives are interwoven with elation and disappointment. Life is unpredictable.
And when we connect to each other’s lives, two powerful expressions of friendship are manifested: we listen & we are present. We extend compassion or a standing ovation; comfort or celebration; high fives or a shoulder to lean on; tears of joy or tears of grief. Whichever it may be, one thing is clear – we need each other.
– Karen Thrall