Hello everyone. The previous beach walk was in June, so I have no clue who will see this. More importantly, I hope all of you are well. My re-start will be slow – that is, once a week until further notice.
Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.
I like walking on the beach. It is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.
As I walk, I look at the sea as I think about some friends at home – wondering what they are doing – thinking those dealing with important issues – and then I wonder. How many friends have I had in my lifetime? Of course, that number isn’t even close to the number of people I’ve met in my lifetime.
My walks are typically long, so whether standing in the water or splashing through it step by step, my feet and lower legs encounter a lot of water. Maybe a mere capful of water represents one person I’ve encountered in my life. Whether the water is washing over my feet or covering my calf as I stand, I wonder how many cupfuls of water have touched me on this walk.
Of all the personal encounters in my life, how many can I call a friend? If so, at what level of friendship would I identify them? Realistically, and at my age, that question would be difficult to answer.
A friend is a person one knows – a friendship developed around a common interest. Friends can be a companion, confidant, soulmate, classmate, chum, buddy, sidekick, mate, amigo, and many other terms.
We have neighborhood friends, childhood friends, school friends, and work friends to name a few. Friends are also around activities as car club friends, dance friends, golf friends, book club friends, and more. Some people also have church friends and college friends. Let’s not forget people we consider as a friend we make through various Internet activities. I admit, for me, it is blogging – so yes, I have blogging friends.
We have best friends, long-time friends, fair-weathered friends, and friends of a friend. There are friends in high places, friends of the court, and friends with benefits. You can have old friends, but we will never have new old friends. Then there’s a man’s best friend who isn’t human.
The way we use the word “friend” seems so casual to me. Surely each friend isn’t of equal value. Certainly, some friendships are deeper and more meaningful than others. I am confident Google knows if a hierarchy exists.
Of course, levels of friendship exist. After all, people study friendships. From friendly strangers to acquaintances to evolving friends to casual friends than close friends to best friends to intimate friends – but intimate doesn’t imply a sexual relationship. Other descriptors of stages include strangers, simple, regular, good, close, true, and more.
Regardless of the hierarchy used, the friendship status depends on the level of communication, common interest, emotion, shared values, commitment, connection, honesty, level of enjoyment, and mutual respect.
Being from a small town, I was lucky to have a group of friends from first grade through high school. Those friends helped shape who I am today.
I was lucky to have wonderful friends in college – and we’ve stayed in contact for many years since those campus days. Those friends also played a role in shaping who I am today.
Making friends as kids seemed so easy and innocent. After all, the top criteria are nice and fun to be around.
As we get older, people take different paths. Yes, some leading to new friends while others involve leaving some friends behind.
As adults, making friends seems more difficult. Maybe adults are looking for more than nice and fun to be around. Maybe adults identify more substance than we did as kids. Maybe instead of getting to know them, we are more standoffish – cautiously protecting ourselves.
Now in my mid-upper sixties, my friends are from different phases of my life – including first grade. After all, we humans are social creatures who strive for relationships.
Friends are the ones that we want to be around no matter our mood because they are reliable.
Friends are there to lift us with encouragement, to pick us up when we fall or are down, and to keep us grounded.
Friends laugh together, listen when needed, hold our hand for comfort, provide a hug for reassurance, and even lend a shoulder to cry on.
Because friends bring out the best in us, I never imagined differences of opinion around politics, religion, and life philosophy would cause a withdrawal from a friendship. However, today’s hyper-partisan environment can weaken friendships or even cause them to break apart.
Friends are the source of the greatest pleasures and support, plus deliver surprises.
Friends are more important than accomplishments because friends are connected and have a common language of meaning.
Friends are people builders, so they make time to talk when there is a need.
Friends shine a light for guidance, the light for overcoming personal darkness, and a light that shines on yesterday, today, and tomorrow. So, friends stay together in the light and the dark.
There is a lot to friendship. Plus, the levels of friendship exist as a pyramid – wide at the base becoming fewer when progressing to the next level.
I’ve developed new friendships during snowbird season – but not top-level friends – but more around the understanding as children – people who are nice and fun to be around. Isn’t it interesting how aspects of life go full circle?
Friends – good thoughts for any day. Plus, many different people came to my mind. Nonetheless, good thoughts for a day because I like walking on the beach, which is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.
See what other bloggers have posted about friends
- The Story of Understanding Friendship (essay)
- Benefits of Friendship (essay)
- Best Friends Forever (short flash fiction)
- Friend (essay)
- Old Friends (eesay)
- There are Friends (poem)
- Fake Friends: a poem
Next Post: Ultimate Friend – Saturday 30th October @ 1 AM (Eastern US)