My apologies for missing the blog post unannounced last week, but I have a great excuse: I was visiting some longtime friends, which reminded me how life-giving it is simply to be together.
A couple of these friends I met in college, and I often forget how well they know me. When you live with someone for two or three years, you see every side of them—the kind, the impatient, the elated, the dejected. It’s rather miraculous that we’ve hung onto these friendships for more than half our lives because in that many years, we are all bound to do more than one something that pisses the other person off.
The remarkable thing is that spending time together is more important than the particular activity. Whether eating rhubarb pound cake at the up-and-coming restaurant in town or hamburgers at home on an overcast Memorial Day, playing with the toddler or meeting the cats and touring the new condo, the company made the moment. The rest of it was fun but secondary.
I don’t know why this is true, but I know it is. I’ll probably always remember certain moments listening to live music, watching theater, or eating great food, but I don’t think any of them will enter as deeply or mean as much as sitting with these friends and wondering about nearing midlife or catching each other up on daily happenings or not talking at all.
I think we’ve all done a good job of valuing our friendship throughout the years, but it seems that the older we get, the more deeply we understand just how lucky/fortunate/blessed we are.
Maybe love, like wine or cheese, can improve with age. And like the wine in its oak barrel or the cheese in its cave, it does so by simply being in the presence of those we love and appreciating who they are.