Every little girl at the age of 8 is aware of the concept of a ‘best friend’. There are certain unspoken (and occasionally spoken) playground rules – the most sacred, your best friend comes first, before anyone and everything else, boyfriend (a memory of playing ‘catch and kiss’ comes to mind), other friends, anyone.

But then you learn that you can share your heart to and between more than one person. You learn that though that initial stab of betrayal would make itself known, it didn’t hurt quite as much when someone you considered your best friend made other best friends and joined other groups. You get over it. But that one rule remained, partners come and go, but friends, well, they would always have your back. And even if you abandoned them for stolen schoolyard moments with that new romance, they would be there when you came back crying, they would form a barricade to block his path when you couldn’t stand to talk to him, they’d share a chocolate cookie or three (from your lunch, not theirs), and they would lend an ear to hear you whine and rage – even if they couldn’t say anything in reply. Family, in all but blood.

But perhaps selfishness has intervened. Priorities change, and while it is always nice to hang out, those times are few and far inbetween. Moments with just the two of us have become too valuable, even though they abound. It is difficult to share.
It is hard to step back and fully realise that things were not always like this, that there used to be, and should be, other suns lighting someone’s world. But sometimes, its the threat of the loss of those suns that jolts us back to reality – that we both might have obligations to step aside momentarily. That there are pasts and history, not just the present and future, and the threads of a shared life must continue to be woven to be maintained.

So I share cookies, just like I used to, and hope that friends return to their haunts around the piano, to enjoy the bitter-sweet, salty taste. Like tears and chocolate, of lost friends and those who leave, of late birthdays and far too abstract and irrelevant food posts that really shouldn’t concern anyone as the author is simply contemplative – Perhaps these are the moments that we need Pierre Herme’s World Peace Cookies.

 

Until then, I pray you have a safe trip. And while the wind blows, we can only hope we will be scattered together again.

 

Advertisements