When new friends come into your life, take the time to savor the moment. It is like stepping into warm sand, solid, comforting, and shifting all at the same time. I do not know why in childhood, we think BFF, best friends forever is the norm or the continuum of our early, intense fellowships outside the home.
In kindergarten the brutal truth is, that we can love fully, another person, outside of familial circles and have it unreciprocated or worse, rejected, sometimes with verbal violence which marks our soul, like punch in the face that bruises the skin.
You grow up. In and out of grade school, where the friend ships change faster than your clothing from one day to the next. Somewhere in my twenties I settled into a set of friends that came to me by way of college and work. With the intensity of watershed moments such as divorce, graduation, first professional jobs that slammed one against the other like a multi care pile up in the fast lane, my friends were there for me, as that old saw goes, to help clear the wreckage.
A friend took me in when I left husband number one. Another padded over in bathrobe and slippers to sip coffee every morning. I had friends who stood up at my wedding and friends who opened doors to jobs. After my first child was born, they drifted off my radar to parts unknown. Maybe I should have sent holiday cards to keep in touch, but one by one, those friends disappeared.
A new set of compatriots began to show up. Neighbors also at home with children; moms I met in Le Leche League, women who train at the gym. There were new BFF, filling in the space in my heart where the others use to be.
No friends ever stay. We cross paths. Journey along side one another for sometime. I have stayed in touch with one friend for 41 years. I have collected others in the last decade. I think of the friends I have known. Feel lucky that we have met. Miss them too. Nevertheless, I have learned you cannot hold on or stay steadfast any more than you can keep a beautiful mandala of colored sand, in the palm of your hand.