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What is a friend?

February 18, 2015

IMG_0506The wind blowing across the the deep snow howled mournfully outside my cabin as I sat by the propane light reading to fill my nighttime hours. The frame cabin though not yet done was a work in progress and a good shelter against the frigid Alaska winter. My battery bank, generator, computer and LED lights still far in the future, for now I had but a propane light and my headlamp to brighten the darkness. I sat immersed in another world of words on paper as a heavy knock on the door broke my concentration. Out here in the wilderness visitors late at night were an uncommon occurrence.

Also uncommon and rare is to be able to find a like minded individual literally in the middle of nowhere. It was akin to stumbling across that one gold nugget in many miles of a stream bed, and like that nugget you hold it close to you because of it value. The knock on the door was a friend who lives a distance away and has been stopping by with some regularity for a while now. We have spent many hours sitting in the dark and near dark just talking….. about life , God and basically anything and everything. It was for me a kind of ‘wilderness’ therapy where when something is figuratively itching my conscious we would scratch it and see if it could be resolved.

I now have those batteries, generator, computer and lights but have lost that friend, who has since opted to return to civilization. There are others who live in the area but they, after all these years, were like family to me and not someone you burden with hours of circular conversation. Add that to the fact that I can no longer walk down and especially up any hills to visit them and I am basically back to living in isolation.

However this posting is not about my situation, but about friendship and communication. You and I, I am sure, have had over the years many people who we call our friends, but by what measure do we use that word and how do we find a true friend when we need one? Do you consider someone a friend simply because you see or talk to them on a daily basis? Do you think because someone helped you with a situation a couple of times that they are your friend?

Personally I think that some of the tell tale signs of friendship are:
knowing if ever a problem arises
one call and they would be there never asking any questions
or…spending time together and not being upset because no one is talking
or…someone who ensures their relationship is always in balance
and definitely is one that shares in your happiness or pain
without you ever being aware they are.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. raveneyes permalink
    February 18, 2015 7:49 pm

    Very good writing. A friend is everything you wrote about and sometimes a little more!


  2. February 19, 2015 6:14 am

    Yes, one must continually be of ‘open mind’ as potential friends appear in one’s life often at the most unexpected times. They may hang around for decades or sometimes disappear almost as quickly as they appeared but true friends are always ‘around’ even if they are not physically present. I believe lots of folks confuse ‘acquaintances’ with friends; acquaintances are people one has met and can become friends with time. Friends are those folks with whom you’ve recognized a deeper tie be it in communication, background, life experience, likes and dislikes; there’s something more than just that; “Hi, how are ya” when you meet. And ultimately really good friends should be cherished for the rare and unique influences they wield and the wonderful additions they offer to one’s life!


  3. Del permalink
    February 19, 2015 7:02 am

    Always liked this song……


  4. February 19, 2015 10:21 pm

    Good words, Pete. Beautifully written. I thought of my best friend as I read your closing words.


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