A few years ago, when I was in a very dark place, I had a friend with the most amazingly luscious curly hair. We had been through a lot together. We had talked for hours and cried and buoyed each other up and hugged and cried and cried some more. And had fun, and then some more fun, and laughed long and loudly from the bottom of our bellies.
When I fell into my very dark place the girl with the curly hair held my hand and kept me from being swept away by the tsunami that was doing its very best to pull me under.
And then life got in the way. Things happened. We drifted apart. Years passed. My memories of my friend were still there, my love for her had not diminished, but was now clouded by pain and misunderstanding, sadness and bewilderment.
And then one day I saw her across a crowded meeting room. There she was, as beautiful as ever. The past flashed before my eyes, my heart skipped a beat, my palms began to sweat, my pulse and breathing quickened. Somehow I kept talking, finished my presentation and left the meeting.
I drove home and there it was, a text from my friend who’d be so happy to see me again, my friend who said such kind things from the bottom of her very kind and beautiful heart.
I wasn’t ready. I couldn’t reply. I didn’t know what to say, how to begin, how to bridge the gap that we had allowed others to create between us. So I stayed silent. I smiled inside at the thought of my friend, but I couldn’t reply.
Months passed. And then one day, I was sitting in my car, not so very far from where my friend with the curly hair lives and works. The sky was that uniquely intense West Australian blue, the jacarandas were in bloom and I knew the time had come. I took a deep breath and the words poured out. I pressed send.
And so it was that my friend and I met one perfect weekend afternoon in early summer. We were both overcome… with emotion, with love, with happiness, with friendship. We were reunited.
After all that time my friend and I have reconnected. Our bond was too strong to be torn asunder by those who knew not how much we had shared, how much we cared for each other, who had underestimated the power, the strength and the beauty of true friendship.
If you are lucky enough to have a few true friends in your life, as I am, you will know that real friendship does not resent or envy or covet. It does not undermine, or gossip, or spread rumours or make assumptions. You will know that it can surmount the most difficult of problems, the hardest of tests, that it will always always triumph over adversity.
So if there is a friend you haven’t seen for a while, a friend you once cherished but from whom you have become disconnected, for whatever reason, don’t wait a moment longer. Write that text, compose that email, send that message. Seize the moment and embrace the day.
Forget pride and hurt and vanity and ego and remember how you used to feel when you were in the company of your friend. How she filled your heart with joy, how she made you cry with laughter, how she lit up every room she entered, how she made you be a better version of yourself.
Make the move, take the step and you will feel that way once more.
In my book ‘Changing Lightbulbs’ there is a chapter called ‘Finding Friendship,’ and in that chapter I wrote about the girl with the curly hair at a time when I believed our friendship might not be retrievable. At the end of the passage about her I wrote, “… I sometimes wistfully hope that we might be friends again one day.”
My wistful hoping has became a reality. And my friend’s hair is as curly and glorious as ever.
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