Last week I had a surprise autumn visit from a childhood friend. We hadn’t seen each other for nearly 20 years but after just a few minutes together, intermingled with hugs, tears (mainly mine) and more hugs, we were chatting away as if we had never been apart. That to me is the sign of true friendship, the kind that you can just slip on like that favourite old pair of slippers. You know, the ones that you mislaid somewhere along the line of life, but when you eventually find them again they are as comfy as they ever were. Marina is just that kind of friend to me.
Do you have ‘Marinas’ in your life? Friends that for one reason or another and without intention have faded from view, as families grow and life just gets, well,….busy! Somehow however many new friends we make, and as valuable as they are to us there is always something that remains strong and unique about the ones you grew up with. Those friends who knew about your first kiss and who it was with, or who shared your sleeping bag at a summer camp, even if, as is the case for me and Marina, we have allowed too many years to slip by without a hug.
Marina and I grew up in church circles and both went on to marry men who became ministers. Oh the joys of being a ministers wife (another blog maybe!). Marina is still married to her minister but mine unfortunately ‘threw in the collar’ in more ways than one, and during that time of change, for one reason or another, I mislaid many old friends from the past.
Over the years as we all do, I have made some very special new friends. Friends who saw the mess and were there to help me clear it up. Friends who came along at the right time and season. Those friends are like new wine and as the days go by they are ageing into something very pleasant on the palate. I’m not a big drinker but I’m always ready for a glass of Sue, Megan, Vivienne or Lynn when we get time to sit down together and share our news over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine
There are however for me just times in life when I have to search out that cosy pair of slippers, someone who knows me of old. It’s even better when they just turn up unexpectedly as my lovely friend Marina did the other day. Those friends we grew up with, who know where we’ve come from and share the memories of our youth. Looking into the face of one of those friends is like looking in a mirror, they reflect something of ourselves and remind us of what once was, while accepting us for the choices we’ve made, and who we have become, because that’s what friends do.
I think I have quite a few old pairs of slippers that I havent looked out in a while. What about you, do you have ‘Marinas’ hiding away at the back of the cupboard? Why not seek them out and dust them down, put them on, and remember just how very comfy they were.
You never know, they might be searching for an old pair of slippers too.
Love Alison x