Sunday, June 20, 2010

Many miles? Or a set of rushing rapids?

The significance of some friendships is the fruit of many miles on a long road. The significance of other friendships lies in one crossing of a rampaging river in a howling storm.

There is a small coterie of clients who forged a friendship with my boss many years ago through some tough circumstances (that I know almost nothing about). If my boss finds out I'm off to see one of them, he will say, "Say to Barry, '[Insert boss' name] says "Don't mention the war."'"

I always try to pass those kinds of greetings on. They are simple words that testify to the significance of a friendship forged long ago. The hearer of the words inevitably smiles, and the friendship is, in some odd way, rekindled - however many years it has been since the two friendly parties have actually spoken. And even if it only 6.30am on a frosty morning standing on the 17th tee.

It's been about 2 1/2 years since Cara and I embarked on, what seemed to us at the time, a terrifying and bold new direction. The process of coming to the point of making that decision saw new people arrive into the unsettled terrain of our lives. They were, some of them, people we had to learn to trust quickly as we co-navigated unfamiliar space. We did not have many miles on the road with them, but we quickly had a friendship forged through a river crossing. There were also others there through that crossing who had been there all along (you know who you are), and their friendship has meant the more for it.

Perhaps some of them would estimate the value of our friendship differently to how we see theirs. All I know is: 3 years since meeting some of these folks, I will still drop them a friendly line every now an again when I'm out-and-about with some time to kill. And I would go to the wall for these people.

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