It’s said that friendship is the foundation of life and community.
This summer, my family had the good fortune to spend several weeks with family and friends in Alaska. Away from cell phones, tv shows, conditioned routines and totally submerged in nature and love. On one particularly challenging hike, I noticed how our extended group of friends broke off into sub-groups. The more athletic and experienced forged the path, while the less-experienced (and less-in-shape!) followed behind.
We took our time clambering over boulders to cross the river and opted out of climbing the sheer face to get a better look at the mystery animal we’d spotted along the ridge. At times we all connected as a group, then broke off again to adventure in our own ways at our own pace.
As we climbed higher and higher, I enjoyed looking both ahead to robust friends and the natural splendor that awaited my arrival, and behind to behold the sweeping vistas of the valley I’d already traversed. At some point in the day, I recognized our hike as a lovely metaphor for friendship. Enjoying the ebb and flow of connecting when we did, cheering on those who were stronger and faster, and reaching back to lend a hand to those who struggled behind us.
The destination and highest point of our days’ hike was a magnificent glacial lake surrounded by snowcapped mountains. It was a perfect sun shining Alaska day, and some of our crew stripped to their shorts and jumped in the freezing water. The ‘wiser’ amongst us declined to join in.
But no matter our choice, we all enjoyed the adventure and family bonds nurtured. At the risk of sounding cliché, this glorious day was truly about the journey, not the destination.
In celebration of national friendship day, family life, and enjoying the journey, I offer thanks to the family and friends who helped create such beautiful memories for me and my family. Of course, this includes our friends in Alaska, but also our friends and coworkers at home who kept Faceplant running so that we could enjoy this family time together. Friendship truly is the foundation of life and community, and I’m so grateful for all of ours.
Thank you for being a friend!