Running through my head this moment are the bouncy lyrics to the Beatles song, With a little help from my friends.
Friendship is one of those consistent inconsistencies in life. All of us have friends; sometimes we have many, sometimes few. And we all rely on them for fun, entertainment, and emotional support. During the holiday season, I spent extra time looking over the contact list that I keep of phone numbers, snail mail addresses, and e-mail addresses we have of our friends. Many friends have drifted from our lives or have passed away. Fortunately, being gregarious people, we are always adding new ones.
A few months ago at a Rotary club meeting, I had the opportunity to meet a man named Jim who is a professor at Virginia Tech and is in charge of volunteer programs. Last night at a free dinner provided by the Sustainable Food Corps at Virginia Tech, we met his wife Robyn as well. Jim and Robyn turned what might have been a quiet evening alone into an hour of fellowship (and great food). We look forward to seeing them again soon and building a closer friendship.
Back in December, I was on my way to a Twin Valley Riders motorcycle club breakfast with my frequent riding companion Mike Gunther. Behind us behind us at a traffic light stopped two other riders who followed us to breakfast. One of them, Carlos, has now become a friend. He and his wife Jennifer recently moved to this area from Washington, DC to provide a more relaxed, small-town environment for their growing children. Carlos invited me to join him on a motorcycle tour to Nova Scotia in June and planning is now officially underway. Carlos is from Peru and brings an international perspective to our friendship.
Last weekend, I was cross-country skiing on the Huckleberry Trail. I expected to have the trail to myself but began a conversation with a man named Brian who was traveling by, of all things, dogsled. We chatted briefly as he passed, but I caught up to him at the parking lot where he was putting his sled and his dogs in his pickup truck, where I heard all about his love of dogs and dog-sledding. Brian and his wife Lynn, who is several months pregnant with their first child, joined us for dinner on Saturday night. Brian and Lynn are professors at Virginia Tech and are bright, interesting and well-traveled. The following day, they invited me to join them at Mountain Lake where we had a terrific day cross-country skiing on deep snow and with a bright sun overhead.
Each of these new friendships, as well as ongoing friendships, brings joy and fun into our lives. Friendships or something none of us can have too much of. I am reminded of this time and time again as I get by with a little help from my friends.