What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies. —Aristotle
“A true friend stabs you in the front.” – Oscar Wilde
” Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down. “
As we’re entering Spring, I think of the past four months and try to pick out significant moments I’ve had in that time. A lot has happened. I’ve made new friends, left one job, started a business, I realised who’s on my side. The future is uncertain, but I sense there is a lot to look forward to. I don’t sleep much and I’m nervous, but more than anything I’m trying to be calm and patient. There are five people who stand out, five individuals that feature in every moment worth noting so far this year. I’m spending tomorrow writing about them and how they’ve made a difference for better or worse.
Try this, think back to the start of the year and pinpoint either 5 significant moments or 5 people who have made a difference in your life. Pick one and write about it/them in detail.
I feel loved. I went out to celebrate my birthday last night and had a great time catching up with old and new friends. Some people I had only met via Twitter (they knew mutual friends – no stalkers or anything). I was still out at 3am. I’m a bit hazy about the end of the night thanks to many kind drinks offers, but the overall sensation I have today is one of affection.
The night ended with some of my favourite people, a lovely gift in the form of a journal I plan to use every day. (for a writer, that’s a thoughtful gift) and the promise of seeing some of them again soon. I woke up fuzzy and tired, but happy.
I have hard time telling people how I feel about them. I try to show them, whenever I can, but even gestures seem inadequate. There are a few people who no matter how hard I try, I trip over my tongue. I hope that they know anyway. It’s funny, with some people, whenever I feel like I’m about to tackle them with hugs and tell them they’re wonderful, my good sense kicks in, I remember decorum and stare at my shoes, sharing uncomfortable silence. Part of me thinks, why not do that? Why shouldn’t I make sure people know what they mean to me? Then I remember that not everyone feels comfortable with such signs of affection. So, I guess I’ll just have to keep telling them by stealth.
Anyway, I guess this post is some small message. A little thanks and love you to the people who made me feel a little special yesterday.
A thin opening between my bedroom curtains let in a bright ray of sunlight that woke me. It was late. A session of chat and red wine with friends the night before left me tired and eager to sleep. The cat was curled up above my head, nestled on one of the pillows. We both yawned and stretched, nearly in unison, then scrambled to our feet. Pulling the curtains wide, I took a deep drink of sunshine and prepared to face the rest of what was left of the day.
I showered and dressed in my cropped jeans and a cool cotton top in preparation for the great outdoors. Princes Street Gardens seemed like a good way to enjoy the rare sunshine in Scotland. News said a heatwave – I was skeptical.
I called a friend and arranged to meet at the shops to buy food for a picnic. When I reached the city centre, the streets were full of life. Tourists, locals, charity collectors, mothers with prams and groups of teenagers dodged each other on the pavements.
When my friend and I met, we selected our lunch and made our way to the shade of a tree in the garden. We watched the world go by from our picnic spot and spied two bunnies munching grass and buttercups. A squirrel approached, as if wanting to join the four of us in our picnic. We selected some small strawberries from our punnet and tossed them in their direction and the squirrel helped himself. I had never seen a squirrel eat a strawberry before and watching him made me feel like a soppy little kid at the petting zoo.
As the evening crept in, I remembered I had another engagement and with great reluctance to leave the park went to meet more friends. Once together, we had dinner, cocktails and great chat. When night had settled in, I was fed, a little tipsy on rum and conversation and happy.
It was a perfect day. What made it perfect was the combination of simple, wonderful ingredients. Friends, peace, good food and sunshine. It was an average day, but perfect in it simplicity.
Have you ever had a perfect day? Think about one of those days where everything seemed just right and describe it.
Writing Prompt: Perfect Day
“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”
Fred opened his eyes and shaking off the leaves from his coat stretched his legs. The burrow was warm. Winter has given into spring and he could already hear his mother in the other chamber.
As he wandered through the burrow, he remembered happily that he agreed to meet his best friend Benny for a game of hide and seek.
His mother called after Fred as he ran toward the burrow opening that would open out into the sunshine. “Don’t be late again! I’m making a special treat tonight.” She said.
Fred ran across the field toward the farmhouse where he and Benny met every morning to play.
Benny woke up late that morning. Startled at the late hour, he ran to the opening of his burrow eager to get to the field to play with Fred.
He hopped with all his might through the field towards the farmhouse and when he got there stopped for a breath. As he calmed down and began to look around for Fred he realised he left the burrow without breakfast. His little stomach began to growl, so he hopped to the farmhouse hoping to find something to eat.
When he got there, he saw something so special that he had to hop straight back to the field to find Fred. What he saw was perfect for sharing but he would need Fred’s help.
When Benny got to the field, Fred was waiting for him. “Where have you been?” Fred said.
Benny caught his breath. “Fred, you’ve got to see this! I’ve been to the farmhouse and there’s something you’ve got to see.”
The two of them ran as fast at they could to the farmhouse.
When they got there, Benny took Fred around to the farmhouse kitchen window where he showed his friend their prize.
Resting on the window sill was a perfect, hot apple pie that had been set there to cool in the morning breeze.
“This looks perfect! I’m starving!” said Fred. “But how are going to get to it?”
Benny looked at his friend’s long thin body. “Fred, stand up straight.”
Fred stood on his hind legs and stood up straight and tall.
“Perfect!” said Benny. “If you climb on my back and stand up straight, you can reach the pie!”
“That’s brilliant, clever you!” said Fred.
Benny struggled to hold still and strong as Fred clambered up onto Benny’s back. As they wobbled, trying to keep their balance, someone else noticed what they were up to.
Georgia, the farmhouse cat had been chasing some birds in the barn when she heard noise coming from the back door leading to the farmhouse kitchen. As she turned the corner, she saw Benny and Fred and instantly understood that they were trying to reach the pie in the window.
“We’ll see about that.” She thought and slowly moved through the tall grass towards them.
Fred stood tall and stretched with all his might. His little arms were just long enough to reach the pie. As the tips of his claws gripped the edge of the pie dish he turned his head and saw Georgia sneaking towards them.
She was just about to pounce when Benny looked over and saw her too. “Fred!” he shouted.
Just as she jumped towards them, Fred moved quickly and pushed the pie dish off the window ledge, sending it crashing onto Georgia’s head.
“Run!” Benny shouted.
Fred leaped off of his friend’s back and the two of them ran across the field back towards their burrows.
Looking back, Fred could see Georgia gaining on them.
“Quick, Benny! Follow me home. My burrow is closer!”
They ran with all their might and just as Georgia drew her claws out to reach them, they jumped into Fred’s burrow to safety.
“Just wait.” Georgia called after them. “I’ll get you for this someday.”
When Benny and Fred caught their breath, Fred mother called them. “Where have you two been?” Fred hung his head, too embarrassed to answer. Benny dropped his head too.
“Well, I told you not to be late again. So, if you can’t get home in time, you can’t have the treat I made today. Off to your room!”
Fred scurried off to his room with Benny trailing behind him. As they moved past Fred’s mum, they saw what was on the table behind her – an apple pie!
– The End
A friend of mine has been in hospital for the past week. He had surgery on Thursday and although the news is that it was successful, I’m not going to be at ease until I see him for myself and know that he’s ok. Circumstances prevent me from visiting for a while, but I’ve been missing our chats. Thinking back over our relationship, his absence is both conspicuous and reminds me of how supportive of me he has been over the years. He saw me through the highs and lows of my career, my relationship, deaths, injuries, writer’s block and even the mundane problems that fly at us every day.
The helplessness I feel at the moment frustrates me. I guess sometimes we don’t realise what people mean to you until you’re faced with the prospect of not having them anymore. For now, I wait for news, think of the good times, pray for a speedy recovery and store up the news and stories I’ll share when he’s back on his feet again. I guess I just miss my friend.
Writing Prompt: Missing something/something missing
Love is blind; friendship closes its eyes.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche