I meet many different combinations of people on my weekend jog in the bush. Fascinating to observe them: the running clubs pacing through, the parents taking their kids on a little adventure, mid-life men catching up (meaning one of them talking about how amazing he is at work, the others barely adding a word).
And then the best team I’ve met recently: two young boys. Clearly friends. Very different in nature, but having each other’s backs. Sharing, asking, taking turn in taking lead, truly enjoying each other’s company – but being much too young to really realise it, simply having a good time.
Years ago, we travelled NZ in a campervan, and our back then young girls had some trouble with friendships. Sitting talking in the back of the campervan, I remember drawing my “friendship ancestry tree” to my kids. While mapping it out, realising the close friends I’ve had through my life. Some were there for a period of time, we enjoyed each other’s company, stretched each other and made it all feel safe. Like the two boys in the bush.
Sometimes you moved on in life. Painful if one was ready to move before the other – and a painful clash that I couldn’t even remember the root cause of. Some of us simply moved to different places, and the contact ebbed out. But meeting again decades later, we could still pick up the conversation as if it never stopped, because we shared so much and had something in common, like the two boys in the bush.
Some friends were new. Popping up randomly, and hitting a sweet spot that simply had to be explored. And as the friendship lines evolved on the piece of paper, it was fascinating to see how the match in values, energy level, interest or view on life became more profound. Whereas the early childhood friendships may simply have been based on the fact that you lived next door.
Sharing this story with our daughters, in the back of the campervan, hopefully gave them some sense of it being OK. That friendships change over time. Some hurt, some last – and some are easy, like the friendship of the two boys in the bush.
Which friendships will you cherish this week?!!