Thoughts of Friendship

You know that saying, “You’re the average of the five people you surround yourself with”? 


I thank God for them. I see them as being more talented, more witty, more savvy, more courageous, more … than me. And still we’re friends.

Then there’s the well-known wisdom that states, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” Let’s just say, I’m rarely in the wrong room.

 I look to my friends, young and old, for wisdom. I’ve learned that it’s okay to not be perfect. It’s okay to sport a bit of fire, find your voice, and let it be heard. It’s okay to understand that some things are just NOT my circus and I don’t have to fix everything – at least not today.

 I’ve learned that boundaries are more than a theory and are just as important as inclusion, and, as Maya Angelou stated, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

Some friends share the daily. Some – the once in awhile. We laugh, we cry, we listen, we celebrate, we question, we figure it out – whatever “it” happens to be at the moment, we wonder why. I’m lucky to have these gifts in my life – that have grown me, challenged me, and championed me.

 Lately, I’ve thought about how lucky I am, A LOT. Some of my friends are pushing upwards into their sixties or beyond and bumping into health issues – and struggling. I want a magic wand to make the difficult disappear so that the friendship can linger and surround me like an eternal flame. 

If you’ve ever felt this kinship with your friends (and I sincerely hope you have) perhaps the words of a poem I wrote in 1980 will resonate with you. Funny how something from the archives can mean as much or more forty years later. 

Friends Are Like the Sun

Mary Rita Schilke Sill © 1980

I watched the sun nestle

down in the clouds

camouflaging them

in colors

of red and pink and

distant blues.

I watched as it 

touched and changed 

shadows and water

and me

inside out.

I am absolutely sure that

friends are

like the sun.

The joy is the same

in their coming

as is the sadness

at their parting.

And sometimes

you might not see them

for a whole hour

or night or more …

But you know that

they will come back

like the sun

because there is promise

in the stars.