There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.
William Butler Yeats
Today is the International Day of Friendship. Now in its eleventh year, this commemoration by the UN marks the relationships in our lives that give us strength, sustenance and joy: our friendships.
When I was three years old, we moved away from Louisville where I had been born and formed my first friendship with the toddler next door. I still remember that Baby Karen Bunting was my favourite playmate and that it was a significant development to lose her when we moved. We’re primed to form our bonds early: with kin, but also with those in our extended networks, the village around us. Friendship is part of who we are from the very first.
Following Baby Karen, my close friendships multiplied as I grew up: Kristin, Paula, Virginia, Cindy, Laura, Katie, Denise – all precious to me in their own ways, and some of whom I still call my dear friends. My adult friendships too have shaped me and now form the ‘family I choose.’ Indeed, my friends are the foundation of my life.
Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.
So today I want to acknowledge and thank the many friends in my life, the worlds they have opened up for me through our connections.
I also want to introduce the first in a series of journaling workshops that I will be running this autumn: its theme is friendship. We’ll be using journaling to explore this rich topic, to delve into its shadows, and to celebrate its blessings.
The workshop will take place online on 17 September, from 1 to 4pm BST and tickets are available here.
I’ll end here by saying thank you to all the friends who have enriched my life over the past many years, and invite you to do the same.
Thank you, friends; Wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you