by Jay O'Toole
Friendships, lasting a lifetime, are amazing. Those, lasting forever, are beyond words.
|Friendships, that will last throughout our earthly days
are based on mutual love and mutual respect.
We may not look alike, but we most certainly love alike.
Unconditionally. That's what that is.
We may not think alike, but we most certainly dovetail our differences.
It's like walking. When you're ahead, I'm behind. When I'm ahead, you're behind.
It's like standing. We're in one place side-by-side.
Our friendship has different looks for different purposes.
We stand together as equals when it's time to rest, to reflect, to think, to converse,
but we can move from place to place, only when we lead by changing place in rhythm.
Leading in a relationship doesn't make the leader the better, nor the follower the lesser.
Leading and following is a function of getting things done.
The muscles of our arms and legs are set in pairs. One contracts. One relaxes.
Tandem pairs of muscles make us stronger as humans in physical bodies.
Tandem pairs of muscles in friendships make us stronger as friends.
Canadian Geese show us how to use this principle to make us stronger as groups of friends.
These wondrous birds fly in a "V" to increase efficiency, and to allow for periods of rest.
We, humans, talk about "taking point" or leading on a given day.
The goose, who flies at the point of the "V" must be the strongest in leadership.
Headwinds create drag on the leading goose.
The goose to the right or to the left bear nearly as much force, but it is still less.
And so it goes, until the last goose on either extremity bears the least amount of headwind.
This small flock of geese can cover many miles in this formation.
The leading goose flies point, until it can't.
Loud honking alerts the rest of the flock, "It's time for a change. I need to rest."
Then, in a moment as though by military precision. the point "man" falls back
to the position of one of the extremities to rest and to rejuvenate. It's easiest there.
Again, with military precision the next goose, right or left in turn, "takes point,"
and the flock flies on to accomplish its great distance.
Friendships are based on the understanding, that we help each other.
The stronger of the two helps the friend, who is experiencing a time of being weaker.
Woe be us if we are both weak at the same time.
Of course, that may be the time to prepare a cup of coffee or tea,
then we sit down under a fleece blanket, either separately or jointly,
depending on our snuggle-meter, sharing the warmth of body, heart, or both.
Some friendships have to touch, nearly constantly.
Some friendships rarely if ever touch, based on mutual love, respect, and understanding.
Lasting friendships start in the youth of life.
We do so much together.
We drink hot drinks.
We talk, while we run.
We talk, until we sleep, then we talk, again, when we wake.
Lasting friendships share all of the important moments of life.
The reception, and hopefully the spouse is welcomed into the circle of friendship,
even if not all of the long hours of conversation.
Children, pets, life's work, and hobbies.
Lasting friendships age like fine wine.
The bouquet mellows,
even when the taste in the cup fades a little.
Lasting friendships survive the days of Earth,
maintaining Joy forever in the Presence of the Lord.
Open Prompt: Write a poem over 30 lines, Structured or Free Verse, on the topic of your choosing.
Written for "The Whatever Contest." "The Whatever Contest"
Word Count: 583
Line Count: 56
Verses Count: 11
Style: Free Verse
by Jay O’Toole
on April 26th, 2021