Bob MacArthur

Friendship is one of life’s gifts. Too often in our busy-ness we may forget how important our friends are to us. May this post ring like a bell of mindfulness.

Friendship moves to the center of my awareness today, as Peggy and I prepare to join a group of companions next week. They are high school classmates and spouses. A couple of us were close as teenagers and have remained so throughout life. Most of us, however, shared the vacillating dramas of those years without much deeper contact and only reconnected at our 50th reunion five years ago. We have been journeying together ever since via phone and gatherings.

Next week we’ll spend three days in conversation, sightseeing, music, and mutual support. There will be laughter, good food and deep sharing. We’ll celebrate each other and fortify ourselves for today’s challenges and those that lie ahead.

The roots of the word companion come from the Latin, com (with) panis (bread). Literally and figuratively companions break bread together. Celebrated in the rituals of most religions and spiritual paths, meal fellowship nurtures both body and soul.

Bernie Taupin’s lyrics together with Elton John’s music capture these truths in their song Friends (1971).

It seems to me a crime that we should age. These fragile times should never slip us by.

A time you never can or shall erase, as friends together watch their childhood fly.

Making friends for all the world to see. Let the people know, you got what you need.

With a friend at hand you will see the light. If your friends are there, then everything’s all right.

Does one of your friends come to mind? Would a phone call, visit or email of gratitude be in order?