I got an email from a friend recently that really touched me.
This person, whom I know from my days living in Calgary, AB, and I were an unlikely pair to become friends.
I was at the time, I think, in my early 30s and she was probably in her mid 50s. I was towards the beginning of my career and she was nearing the end of hers. I still had dreams of starting a family and she had finished raising hers. On the surface, it didn’t look like we had very much in common and the chances of our paths crossing organically were slim to nil.
But a chance Church assignment brought us together and resulted in one of the richest friendships I have had in my life.
It has been 13 years since we lived in the same city. In fact, we’ve both moved at least twice in that time. She has stayed in Alberta, but I have lived in Newfoundland and Ontario since then.
Distance friendships, like any relationship, can be difficult to maintain when there are thousands of kilometres in between, even in this day of technology. But we haven’t let that stop us!
Every couple of years we physically get together. She has either come to visit me, or I’ve gone there, but most frequently we meet up in another city and have a holiday together. Over the years we’ve visited Ottawa (before I lived here), Montreal, Toronto, Quebec City, Halifax and Boston. This year we were supposed to go to PEI for our next grand adventure, but the pandemic put the kibosh on that. It will wait for another year.
When we are together we do fun things, we have great conversations, (touching on the smallest topics to the greatest philosophical ideas and everywhere in between), we learn about the new places we are in, and we accept each other where we are. It’s wonderful. I always come away from a holiday (or any interaction with her) feeling like I am a better person than I was before.
So, as you can tell, we have had plenty of opportunities build a plethora of memories.
In the recent email I mentioned, my friend recounted many of those memories. It was lovely to relive them as I read her email. But it was the way she recounted them that really struck me. It was quite beautiful. Even if the email wasn’t about me and our shared memories, I would have still thought it a beautiful piece of writing in its own right.
The piece that really struck me and stayed with me was the following:
You have put beautiful furniture in my mind.
Isn’t that a fabulous way to think of our memories? What a gift we give each other when we share wonderful times together!
I’ve been thinking about it so much since I got the email a week or so ago. How we can choose to treat the beautiful memories as pieces of cherished, well-curated furniture that take pride of place in the forefront of our thoughts. (And, conversely, we can take the less than pleasant ones and put them in the basement or back room somewhere, out of sight.)
That way we can easily spend our time in the pieces that give us comfort and solace or joy and happiness whenever we want to revisit those moments, curled up on a literal sofa, with a cozy blanket, imagining ourselves in the beautiful pieces of the furniture in our minds.
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