As a Brownie and Girl Scout, we sang this weekly at the close of our meetings. At the time, I didn’t really understand its meaning, but as I’ve grown older, I think I do.
I recently came across a “feature” on the Design Darling blog called 101 in 1001. (Visit it here.) Mackenzie called her list “a happy medium between writing a To Do List and keeping a Bucket List.” It’s a list of 101 things to complete in 1001 days; she also posts other blogger’s 101 in 1001 lists who were inspired by hers. On several of the lists I perused, “Reconnect with an old friend” was noted. It inspired me.
This weekend I reconnected with my friend Jen, or “Niffer” as I called her back in the day. We were an unlikely pair at first, but were inseparable from 6th grade until the summer going in to our junior year, when a fight that seemed like World War III, ended our friendship. Junior and senior year were definitely different without her by my side. This doesn’t have a sad ending I promise!
We reconnected, happy to see each other I might add, at our 10-year high school reunion, as if no fight had split us apart. The shared experiences, closeness, wild adventures, mischief/trouble – which I will not divulge as even some of my followers do not know the extent of our follies, and secrets we shared, rushed back and brought us back together immediately. All I could really remember were fond times and a great friendship. We quickly caught up and I subsequently visited her out West several months later.
Fast forward to this weekend. I hadn’t spoken with Jen, in I don’t know how long, but I said, “I can do this.”
I called. She answered. I said, “Jen? It’s K.” She said, “HI!” It was clear that she was happy to hear from me. I told her about the list, but in actuality I’d been thinking about her quite recently, but the list finally prompted me to make the call. She said that she’d also been thinking about me and about a video game room we frequented in 8th grade. I laughed. Exactly 60 mins later we’d caught up on each other’s lives and promised to keep in better touch.
The Other’s Gold
The thing that I noticed after my call with Jen was that while our lives had continued to hum along independently, the moment we spoke it was as if little to no time had passed. We were as close as we’d been “pre-fight” and our last time together seemed like “only a few weeks ago” versus years. Oh if we truly could hold off aging like our friendships make us feel we do.
I think this experience and “feeling” is what the song from long ago is referring to. Our earliest and/or longest friendships are gold(en). There is an automatic acceptance or understanding of what we bring to the table/friendship. Even to our core, these friends like us and appreciate us flaws and all, but best of all they look forward to more shared times together and to reminiscence. This is what makes them gold.
Those who have come in to our lives more recently are silver. They are still shiny and new. We still may be “proving ourselves,” on our “best behavior” or haven’t worked through that first disagreement. While they are “silver” it doesn’t mean that you like these women or men any less, nor is it saying that she or he cannot one day be gold, but the friendship is still a work in progress right now. (A good one of course or I hope!) You may even get that “no time has passed” feeling when you get together after not seeing her/him for a while.
I am so glad that I reached out to Jen. In fact, I’ve been thinking about several other friends with whom I’ve lost touch. (I still have that goal to write 2-3 “Just Because Notes” that I could utilize for this effort.) We can get “so busy” and caught up in our own lives and minutiae that we sometimes can neglect and almost lose the appreciation of the things and people who make our lives fuller and richer, like our gold and silver friends.
Is the someone you consider a “gold” or “silver” friend?
Have you spoken to her/him recently?
Why not go and call her/him, or better yet drop a “Just Because” note in the mail to catch up and let her/him know you’re thinking about them.