Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. – Marcel Proust
The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart. – Elizabeth Foley
Friendship is a sheltering tree. – Samuel Coleridge
The only way to be a friend is to be one. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
When I first settled down in England as a married woman about 16 years ago, my focus was solely my husband. I did not think much about other people around me, I suppose I was a typical newly wed. Apart from my family, I only kept in touch with a handful of old friends from my homeland, those from my teenage years at boarding school and from my undergrad years at University. But as time passed by, I realised the need to make new friends, after all I was in a new land leading a different lifestyle. I could not possibly continue to pretend the friends back home would suffice. Naturally my friendship horizon then broadened, particularly when my children came along. As we all know friends come and go, especially as we grow older. We may meet a lot of people but only a few would leave a lasting mark in our lives.
16 years on, I can now say that I have several treasured friends in the West, in this land that is now my home. Two of these wonderful women now live in the Middle East, but they return to England whenever they have the opportunity. I was over the moon when a few of us met up again over the weekend on another glorious bright blue sky day. Even though time and distance have separated us, we connected as if we never parted. It is easy to lose sight of meaningful friendships amidst the hustle and bustle of life. As a wife and a mother, my top priority is my family and my household, a 24/7 job as everyone would know. But I try to make time for these special friends of mine, for they bring out the best in me. I value their advice, enjoy their company and treasure our memories together. Our families get along fairly well too, especially the children.
I would like to dedicate this blog post to them; thank you for sharing my life in England, for being there for me, for making me less lonely as the years rolled on. You are definitely one of my life’s greatest blessings. May our friendship continue to flourish and last forever. We listened to our favourite singer whilst chatting away at our picnic atop a beautiful hill! Alhamdulillah for the meaningful friendships throughout my life, though I may not be in touch with all, know that you will remain in my heart and prayers…