About Me

My photo
Born in the US, raised on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, lived in Italy, the US, and Canada. Lover of language, travel, colour, and the natural world.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Photo property of Ariana Salvo. May not be reproduced without permission.

You know the kind of friendship where you can not see the person for years, and then see them again and it is as if you just saw them yesterday? No need to fill in the gaps -- everything is just understood without the need for lots of explanation? Most of us have at least one friend like that in our lives. Helen is one such friend for me. I realized last night that she has miraculously managed to put up for me for twenty years so far. Twenty. That is a long time to know someone and call them friend. We have known each other through many ups and downs. Through the craziness and insecurity of high school; first loves; the enormous physical distance of my years in college in the United States; her becoming a wife and mother; my years of working in Italy; my years of studying and working in Canada, and so much more. Last night I left a dinner party to come home and call her on her birthday -- an annual tradition that I intend to keep up as long as my memory allows. She is ten hours ahead of me, so talking on her birthday meant that it was Thursday in my present and Friday in hers.

Occasionally I wonder how we have managed to maintain a friendship this long. Personally I think it is my ability to remember her birthday that keeps us going (she never remembers mine--a source of great irritation to her, and amusement to me...and yes, I do realize that it is not exactly like hers is difficult to remember, or anything), or the fact that I post photographs of her on my blog that she distinctly dislikes (she then has to call or write to express her displeasure), but in reality I know that our friendship is just one of life's unexplainable, but invaluable little gifts.

There are many things that I love about the friendship I share with Helen. Like the amount of patience (all of it on her part) that permeates our interactions. The fact that we remind each other to not take ourselves so seriously, and to laugh at ourselves. That we are able to recognize each others unique talents and capabilities and remind each other what these are when we need to be reminded. That we respect each others differences. The lack of judgment (and more patience on her part while I learned this essential skill) that exists when we listen to what each other is going through. The fact that we always somehow manage to be there for each other without expectation. A willingness to share what we are learning with each other. The knowledge that she will always remind me what I am capable of -- who I am and what my values are when I make choices that are not true to my highest self. That we are so supportive of each other, and that we both believe that the other is going to succeed with whatever she sets her mind to do with her life. That we are always honest with each other. That we share a love for God. That we both believe in the power of prayer. And that we laugh--a lot, sometimes late into the night.

Last night, talking to Helen on skype filled me with such happiness. Happiness that she and I are friends. That God brought her into my life. That we have managed to maintain our friendship through so many of life's ups and downs. And that she was born on this special day.

Happy, happy birthday, Helen! I hope you had a superb evening!

And you, friends? Do you have a friend whose presence rocks your world?


  1. MY dear,dear Arianna
    Firstly ,im am positive that you are expecting a response to this entry,seeing that you put that certain photo that i am not too fond of ;)...but hey you knew that already ,thats why you put it.
    The fact is even though im not too excited about that photo we took in that cosy tea shop, i will always keep this image of you and me sitting side by side enjoying each others company,chatting our heads off,laughing at our stupidity but at the same moment admiring each other for our strength and love for life and the ability we have to overcome all the obstacles such a life has to offer.

    True friends are very rare to have now a days...i feel tremendously lucky to be one of few people who can honestly say she has a true friend in this world.Someone she can share her feelings,her thoughts,her happy moments and sad moments too without being critisized , put down or judged.
    Seeing that you are an only child i have come to learn that your friends for you are your family and so i am honoured to consider myself as your "sister". You treasure every moment you have with them and you never forget them even though they sometimes forget to call or keep in touch. You know that thats my bad point :(...i am the type of person who will write a letter but never post it...;( but you know as well as i do that i have you close at heart and that i never forget our friendship and even though we are thousands of miles apart,i always feel that at any time in my life ,no matter how many months have gone by from our last talk ,you will always be there on the other side willing and eager to here my thoughts and share my feelings.Just for the record you know that i too will always be here for you,anytime,anyday anywhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Keep strong my friend,keep your faith to the utmost peak and believe that life will get better. We are responsible for our lives and even though society is so corrupt,even though the economy world wide is crash landing,there is still much beauty out there...i personally find it in my children and in the people i hold close to my heart,in my adorable dog and in natures beauty....

    Ari i thank-you from the bottom of my heart for your friendship, for never forgetting my birthday and for being the unique soul you are.xxxxx!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Wow. I didn't expect THAT much of a response, but that just made up for all those comments that were lost! Thank you for reading my blog Helen. And for always being so supportive of my writing!