14 Oct 2011

Musings on Friendship


Today I was thinking about a dear friend
Who was also a wonderful mentor to me
He always, always had time for me
But this was about five years ago

He was a senior PhD student
My first friend and guide in a new country
He was my one stop contact for every question
Every doubt – academic, social, or personal

I just kept walking into his office
For any clarification or consolation
And I was always greeted with an unconditional smile
And the words, ‘It’s a pleasure to help’

He was there for lunches, there for walks
He was there for a shoulder to cry on
There to guide me in my spiritual quests
And there to help me with everyday queries

Today he is in a different world
Extremely busy as a successful academic
I think back at the time 5 years ago
And miss that amazing friendship

I’ve had many such angelic friends
As I fondly think of them now
They have nurtured me in different ways
At different points in my life

I spoke with another dear friend last night
Also living in a different country now
She is a busy mom, I am a busy mom,
Wrapped up in our very busy worlds

But when I think of the tears and laughter
That we once so wonderfully shared
A tinge of regret crosses my mind
And I wonder if we might ever be like that again

But I am awakened immediately to my present
And I sense the comedy in this feeling of ‘missing’
As I see that today I have different friends
Just waiting to be given their ‘special friend’ status

The many different people that surround me today
The children of my son who frequent my house
Colleagues at my workplace, neighbors on campus,
Are all my ‘present friends’ in disguise

I didn’t really realize during those years
How precious those gifts of friendship were
I did not stop to think that later on
I would look back and miss those times

I sense now that sometime in the future
I’ll look back on today and say
How wonderful a friend or neighbor I had
How wonderful that colleague had been

These times will change, relationships will change
It’s just the way the world functions
Let me savor and cherish what’s in my now
For tomorrow it will be just a memory

Let me throw all of myself into today
Let me engage completely with my ‘here and now’
Let me give loving attention to those around
Who adorn the minutes and hours of my ‘today’

I have these varyingly camouflaged friends
All around me, here, now, today,
Angels that I will fail to recognize
Till I gallantly open my heart and see