we are friends!

We lost track of time Friday night, circled up in that curiously high-ceilinged Williamsburg living room. Some were strangers and some were friends, but I am growing to love all combinations. In high school, we had a phrase among my friends that may sound a little silly. In the middle of adventures or as a way to say hello/goodbye or just blurted out because it felt right, we would say, "We are friends!"

It feels foolish to type it out.

Of course we were friends. We spent every weekend together at the coffee shop our church bought for a dollar. We wasted gallons of gas together cruising the loop in our small town, hanging out the windows with punk and indie music blaring. We crowded into basements and bedrooms and living rooms together to watch movies or play games or just to be.

Anyway, something about that statement bubbling out of all the things we did together made our friendship beautiful. And it still is. We all think it is a miracle, really. The group of us from the rural backroads in Iowa are now carrying on shenanigans in different parts of the country/world but whenever we get together it's the same excitement and "We are friends!" comes rolling out.

Last weekend, our good friends Dusty and Barb were visiting from California. It was kind of like hanging out with the rural backroads of Iowa, even though Barb was born in New York and grew up in California. Friendship is funny that way. It is a wave rippling out from the ocean, reaching further and further up on the sand.

At least that is how I felt driving upstate with Dusty and Barb last weekend and that is how I felt sitting in that curiously high ceilinged living room Friday night in Williamsburg and that is how I felt huddling around a table at Rosamunde Sausage Grill last night at 1 am.

Honestly, my high school friendships are still the best kind. That's a miracle. But, I am always surprised when I want to blurt out the same silly exclamation when I am far from home. That's a miracle, too. I leaned in to tell a story to three new pairs of shoulders Friday night and my delight made me squeal. I was so excited to be in their company - to consider them friends - that it came out like adolescent giggles.

It shouldn't, but sometimes it surprises me how good God's good gifts are. Friendship is one of those surprises. I never expect for the friendship wave to reach further on the shore, but it always seems to claim more ground.

And even though it takes energy my heart says I don't have, I always end up squealing with delight - on rural backroads or crowded city streets.