And Time Races On
It was one of those chilly nights just after the middle of winter term when I couldn’t even think about homework until I absolutely had to. I had the evening free and all I wanted was a meal with friends. Since they seemed to share my feeling, a few text messages later we were sitting at a table together talking and laughing and doing our best to take a breath and relax. One girl came late, just as the rest of us were finishing up, and I decided to keep her company while she ate. I could wait thirty more minutes to start my homework.
Soon however, thirty minutes became sixty, and still the time raced on. We talked, and all the thoughts and anxieties that had been building up in my head as densely as the snow was piling outside the window suddenly melted and streamed out my mouth in the form of words. And it wasn’t just me. I tossed an idea out on the table and my friend picked it up, added to it and remolded it, then tossed it right back. At first our voices were two of many that filled the dining hall, but soon my words were echoing off the walls of an empty room. All we did was talk, sitting and exchanging words, but when I finally went home for the night I felt infinitely more loved and cared for.
Friendship is a powerful force, many times stronger than I ever could have imagined. A friend is someone to laugh and play with, someone with whom you can explore and go on adventures with. Other times a friend is more than that though. When enough love is given to a friendship, a friend is family- someone you can laugh with but also rely on even when you’re not feeling your best.
In high school, however, friendship is complicated by the fact that friends come and go so easily. The friend who helped me through one hard night in winter term and many times more is graduating this week, and I may not see her for months at a time. When you love a friend as family it becomes even harder to lose them. What does comfort me, however, is that some types of love are not limited by time. Cheryl Strayed writes in the book Wild of a friend she just met, “He felt like a brother of mine, but not at all like my actual brother. He seemed like someone I’d always know even if I never saw him again.” Even though I may never share dinner with her again, I’ll never forget the friend willing to play catch with words and answer with love.