The path of friendship is often long and rocky, with many twists, turns, ups and downs, but to survive must always be a joint adventure. Both halves must be able to allow the other to grow and change freely and not be caught in fixed patterns of the past, otherwise the friendship becomes a prison.
From within a prison there is little light, little growth or change, only a fixed stuck position. This may only become obvious when external change is forced upon a friendship, and whether it survives will depend on its love, warmth, generosity of spirit and flexibility. In other words its softness, rather than its fierce strength.
For me the ability to survive the often harsh paths of life, has often lain in the soft subtle warmth of others, and many times has come from unexpected sources rather than those I thought I could rely on. But this in itself has often been a gift, a delightful surprise, allowing me to change and my friendships to change with me and my lived experiences.
Rather than focusing on those friendships which end, I find resting my awareness on the whole birth and growth and change more rounded. All beginings are also endings, and all endings are also new beginings….it all depends on where you’re standing.
This is a beautiful old Scottish Celtic Blessing, which speaks of true generosity and warmth, which I have found will carry all of us far in this world:
May the blessing of light be on you – light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you like a great peat fire,
so that stranger and friend may come and warm himself at it.
And may light shine out of the two eyes of you,
like a candle set in the window of a house,
bidding the wanderer come in out of the storm.
And may the blessing of the rain be on you,
may it beat upon your Spirit and wash it fair and clean,
and leave there a shining pool where the blue of Heaven shines,
and sometimes a star.
And may the blessing of the earth be on you,
soft under your feet as you pass along the roads,
soft under you as you lie out on it, tired at the end of day;
and may it rest easy over you when, at last, you lie out under it.
May it rest so lightly over you that your soul may be out from under it quickly; up and off and on its way to God.
And now may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly. Amen.