There seems to be nothing for which Nature has better prepared us than for fellowship… The love of friends is a general universal warmth, temperate moreover and smooth, a warmth which is constant and at rest, all gentleness and eveness, having nothing sharp nor keen.
-Michel De Montaigne
I have been reading Michel De Montaigne’s essay On Friendship for my series of book reviews for online magazine Soapbox Press, and it got me thinking about the friendships in my life.
There is one friend who I have known since primary school, who I thought would always be there; but things change. You grow and evolve as a person, drifting apart from the person they are evolving into. Contact between you becomes less and less until eventually you don’t talk anymore, and you find out things about their life, such as an engagement, through the powers of Facebook, rather than face to face over coffee.
It’s sad but it’s just one of those things. It happens. More so I think with the friends you meet in childhood. You develop different interests, focus on moving forward in your own life, and when you reach out to your friend for a catch-up, they’re not there anymore. You have to consider it for the best though, they were your friend for a little while but you can’t maintain a friendship of past memories when you have nothing else in common anymore.
It’s funny how things change between two people; it’s not like you wake up one day and find that you suddenly dislike them; it’s not like you have deliberately pushed them away; you just sort of stop talking.
And then there are the friendships that have a way of lasting; even when you think that the friendship has been outgrown, one of you reaches out and it is like no time at all has passed. A truly steadfast friendship. I’ve recently begun talking to an old friend again after four years of not talking, and although things had changed in our lives, our relationship was just the same.
There’s nothing especially different between these two particular friends I have mentioned, so I find it strange that one friendship has pulled through and the other one hasn’t. Maybe it is true what Michel De Montaigne says about a truly loving friendship only being one of a kind. It’s a sad thought that we will only ever have one true friend at a time, but I guess it’s the quality of the relationship that matters and not the quantity of relationships you have.