A couple of weeks ago I went by the local health food store to pick up a few supplies. I just wandered around for a bit looking at all the interesting products. In the food section I came across something I had not thought of in quite a while…Bulgur! It is a wheat grain with an awesome nutty flavor. I got to thinking about how my friends and I used to prepare wonderful meals and get together, feast and listen to music! The two things that always held us together were the food and the music!
In preparing the bulgur, we would stir fry many vegetables and then we would put them over the bulgur with soy sauce. Not so difficult really. But one of the friends that is very artistic in every way imaginable would cut a fresh tomato into wedges and add them on top, just as the veggies would be turned off. Not only would it look so pretty, the tomato would just add some depth of flavor that stirs a memory of camaraderie and makes me feel accepted and a part of something bigger than myself. I bought the bulgur, hoping to recreate that feeling.
I set about cooking the bulgur, stir frying the veggies and even adding the fresh tomato at the end. I listened to our music during the process and then served the results up on a plate. I admired and was grateful for the bounty of nature. I did recreate the MEMORY….and it did fill me with warmth and smiles thinking about those days. Yet without the actual people there, the feeling fell short of the original experience. Next time I make the dish, I will be sure to have some friends around to make my experience complete. It won’t be the exact same experience since life has moved on and some of those folks I no longer see…yet I look forward to sharing this meal and making a new memory.
Many of the friends I have today were with me back at those tables, eating that food, listening to that music. Others have joined in throughout the years, meeting at jobs, schools, and through connections to mutual friends and interests. Others that moved, chose other paths or simply drifted away, I have had the pleasure of reconnecting with on facebook….that is the best part of facebook!
Friendship requires effort like any relationship. Oh, it hasn’t always been easy and some days it still isn’t. We have been through marriages, divorces, births, deaths, joys and sorrows. Some of them I had to let go of, and some chose to let go of me. I’ve lost some along the way, too…and that’s all I have to say about that, as Forrest Gump would say. I hope that even the ones that have not remained close have a knowing within them that I am here for them should they need me….I have the same knowledge.
I feel badly for people that tell me that they don’t have many/any friends. I have been so bountifully blessed in my life to have many. There are a few intimate, “besties” but also many, many others that I am proud to call friends. They are the purest form of inspiration in my life, along with my family.
Today one of my friends said in an email, “Thanks honey. You’re a good friend.” In that moment, I knew I had “arrived”. It was the greatest compliment I could have received. It is what I strive for each and every day of my life.
In my life there have been many of you. Thank you to the ones that stayed and loved me in spite of myself. Those that have not, I understand. Those I had to let go of, I love you still. And I look forward to the ones still to come. In my life, I’ve love you all….