Emily Dickinson formulated one of the most striking descriptions of friendship that I have read when she said my friends are my estate. Estate could refer to everything that a person owns – their wealth so to speak and that which they leave behind for future generations – or a piece of land where something is cultivated. I love this sentiment.
Each new chapter in my life has brought unexpected friends with it who, in addition to enriching my life immeasurably, have heightened my appreciation of the friends I already had. I have made the beautiful discovery that true friends can grow separately without growing apart; and that the people “before whom I can think aloud” can, by grace, even be found in the unknown.
Robert Louis Stevenson said that we are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.” Whoever wrote Eclessiastes had a similar insight: “A faithful friend is a strong defense: and he/she that has found one has found a treasure.”