We have a powerful weapon that could help us fight illness and depression, speed recovery, slow aging and prolong life: our friends. I have a dear friend visiting this week and not only do we share the love of photography, she is just the best person to be around. She is always happy and no matter what's going on in my life, being with her lightens my load and makes me happy too.
Being able to share the good as well as the bad with a friend is invaluable. Have you ever had a friend who is always finding fault with things and people and who never seems to be happy? No matter how good your mood is before seeing this person, after five minutes your mood has changed and you're just as negative as she is. It really brings you down to be around someone like that. Conversely, whenever I'm around this friend, whatever my mood was before seeing her, she never fails to make me happy.
We spent the day in one of our favorite places, talking, laughing, taking a hundred (maybe more?) photos and just being together. She is visiting from the Midwest where it is still winter but here in the desert, as you can tell from my photos, it's Spring!
Now she isn't a friend I see every day, nor even every month. But when we do see each other, I know she will listen to what's on my mind, offer advice when it's asked for or just an ear to listen and she makes me laugh. I will come away feeling like a weight has been lifted. You know the saying:
“Friendship doubles our joy and divides our grief.” ~ Swedish Proverb
And I’m lucky to have several friends like that, many of whom are right here on this blog. Over the years that we have shared this space with each other, we have also shared our lives, our joys and our sorrows. Knowing they are there (and I hope for them, knowing I am here) is a comfort and a blessing. Because to have friends like that, you have to be that kind of friend in return.
I hope for all of you that you have those kind of friends. Friends to go through life with, friends who make you happy and who you make happy in return. Friends to listen and friends to care. Friends who bring a smile to your face on the darkest of days. Friends just make your life better. Have you hugged a friend today?
“Friends are those rare people who ask how we are
and then wait to hear the answer.” ~Ed Cunningham