Sunday, April 18, 2010

One is silver and the other gold

Some of my friends know that I was a Girl Scout.

Yes, I know, most of the male persuasion were Boy Scouts. I did some of that - Cub Scouts, Webelos (wtf?) etc - but my more formative time was spent tagging along with my mom when she was a Girl Scout leader for my sister and her friends. I learned all about making campfires and paddling canoes and, of course, lanyards, from the Girl Scouts. And let me tell you, that lanyard knowledge has served me well.

There was a song - a corny song, for sure - that Girl Scouts sang back then, that said "make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold." I have had the simple truth of that brought home to me often of late, and feel the need to acknowledge it.

A couple of months ago I had the chance to visit with C, a friend I've had since Reagan was in office. We spent one summer together and have been buds ever since. We can sit and talk like that summer was yesterday. Today I spent time with P who I've known since - well, Reagan was still in office. Great times, so easy to hang out. And earlier this week I had some quality time with S, who is someone I've only known since the Clinton years, but that's still a goddamn long time. And there's F who I have seen once since high school, but I know if he ever effing came to visit we'd have a great time. All these good times with these good friends, and all my other old friends, make me feel sentimental and thankful and a little curious. How is it that friendship lives and survives and even thrives over great spans of distance and time?

My best answer is that it's one of those unknowables of life - why certain people always maintain a place while others just fade away. Where does that unexplainable connection come from and why does it last? Maybe there's a shared experience aspect - having gone through some kind of passage together, bonded. Maybe it's something to do with karma or pharma or past lives or something else I will never understand. I don't know and I can't know the answer. But today I'm just glad to have those friendships that keep burning. And I'm glad the Girl Scouts' corny song taught me something important all those years ago.

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