Monday, 31 October 2011

Birthdays and friendships

Today is my birthday. I don't rail against the years ticking over.  Instead, I am thankful for the gift of life and the wisdom that comes with experience.  I embrace the milestone.

Most years I plan a celebration.  I love to gather people together and look around at the assembly and marvel at the wonderful people I have in my life.  Some of them have been there for a long time.  Some are more recent additions to the fold.  And often there are people who are no longer there.  Perhaps they live elsewhere now or perhaps the friendship has burnt brightly and then faded.

Recently when I was in my old home town of Brisbane, I spent time with friends I have known since university days.  We usually manage to see each other at least once a year.  We don't speak on the telephone that often.  We don't write to each other on email very often either.  We touch each others' lives lightly through Facebook updates.  Yet when we boil the kettle and make a pot of tea and kick back on the couch, our conversations are deep and wide ranging and intimate - as though no time has passed.  It's wonderfully regenerating to spend time with people with whom you share a long history.  So many things are known and require no explanation or back story.

Rediscovered friendships are in a category of their own.  Perhaps wounds have healed or circumstances have brought you together again.

And then there's also the joy of new friendships.  The shared joy and intensity as you discover a new person.   As I get older I notice that it's not as easy to make new friends.  People are settled into their routines and patterns and histories.  This makes the gift of new friendship all the more precious.

Thank you to all my wonderful friends and family.  You have been there for me through many turbulent times and never lost faith in me.  You may have rolled your eyes, shut your eyes or done a double-take on occasion as you watched me, but I've always felt great love and support from the very high quality selection of people which surrounds me. And I never take you for granted.

Happy birthday to me! I'm off to do nice things for myself.  I may take up the suggestion from my three year old nephew and spend some time in the park.

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