I have, I believe, been blessed with some truly beautiful friends - many of whom I have known for almost twenty years or more. But even then, through the ebbs and flows of our histories together, there always tends to appear some grit in the shell that either wears the friendship away or turns it into a pearl.
And the deciding factor is rarely the actual events - there'll be plenty of those on both sides of the ledger - but how they're remembered. How do you remember your friends? Are they predominantly happy memories or do you tend to recall the hiccoughs, the niggles and the bad times? Does the fact that a friendship carry its own "ups and downs" stick in your mind or do you accept that all friendships travel the same choppy seas? Or do you have none but "fair weather" friends?
Why have I pondered on this? Well, my friends, it's a cold, wet night here in Sydney and what better sound is there to accompany deep thought but the incessant drumming of a hard Sydney rain on the corrugated plastic roof outside my office? Other than maybe a pounding surf but, let's face it, if there was a pounding surf to be heard in Ryde, we'd all be in a mess of trouble!
So, just some food for thought on a quiet, wet Sunday night. If you value your friends, particularly those who have stayed with you through the bad times, who have fought with you, disappointed you occasionally but are always there when you need them most - remember them well because one day, as we all grow inexorably older, a memory may be all that you have left of them.