Slowly the sounds of the house would grow dim. My sister would switch off her bedside light, close her book and fall asleep. Sounds from Mum and Dad’s room would dull to a hum as they switched off the television and fell asleep. I would wait and then quietly I would slide into the corner of the kitchen, grab the telephone, dial the number and slip down onto the floor legs crossed and wait. It was the mid-90’s and during our university years hubby worked night shift at a petrol station, so for hours into the night we would talk. I would share hours and hours of conversation with my best friend, me in a dark still house and him in a quiet, empty petrol station. Separated by a mere few kilometres, these were the conversations that built our friendship and kindled a slow burning fire.
Yet, hubby was not my first best friend, far from it. When I was six, my parents moved into a new house. Moving into a new house also meant moving into a new school and while the thought of new teachers, a new routine and no friends frightened and daunted me, I could not have been more blessed. For living right next door to our new house and sitting right there in my new class was my new best friend. All the way through primary school, high school, university, as my bridesmaid on my wedding day and holding my son in her arms as she baptised him as his godmother, we have been best friends. But just as quickly as I can summarise our friendship in one sentence, that is how quickly things in life can change.
The last time I spoke to her on the phone was September, the last time we sat down to have coffee was last December. While I can profess that I am busy and I can try and convince myself that life is hectic and schedules almost impossible to coordinate, I know it is not good enough. That my friendships deserve more. That the people who I love and are important in this life, my life, deserve more. So while I watched the sunset over the South Australian coast over the summer I paused long enough to listen to the voice that so gently reminds me of what matters most. The voice that asked: when was the last time you called a friend? Not sent a text, emailed or clicked like on a Facebook status, but actually called a friend. Sometimes it is so nice to hear someone’s voice, hear them laugh, hear the pause, feel the emotion as the conversation melts into time.
That is what I did last week. I called a friend who lives interstate. We chat on text, we email and we like each other’s Instagram photos all the time. But I cannot tell how good it felt to hear her voice over the phone. How whole it made me feel. How grounding it was to just chat. So that is what I am going to try and do. Not every day, but maybe once a week. I am going to pick up the phone and call one of my friends, for no reason other than to say hello. Sometimes we look far and wide for the answers to fill the empty questions, fill the echo of loneliness, to try and ease the calamity. Yet the answers are often right there in front of us, staring at us in all their bare simplicity.
Conversations with friends, best friends or not, are too important to watch them fall through the cracks of life and social media.
When was the last time you picked up the phone and called your best friend?
The next Conversations over Coffee link will open on
Thursday February 27, 2014
The theme is Conversations with Love ~ everyone is welcome x