The circle is round | Front Porch | Indy Week
Pin It

The circle is round 

Right now, at any one of thousands of Girl Scout meetings across the world, young women are sitting in a circle and singing in sweet, high voices: "Make new friends, but keep the old/ One is silver, the other is gold." In the blur of teenage angst and the frantic rush of young adulthood, many of those young women will go on to make new friends. They will inevitably lose touch with their troop mates.

I was one of those girls. The past couple of years have made me realize that I'm now both old and fortunate enough to have friends that span all phases of my adult life. But something incredible has happened of late: Some of those golden friends from my Girl Scout days have reappeared. Sometimes the person who knew you first feels like the one who knows you best.

Decades later, we're reaching for each other through seismic career changes, divorces and serious illness, facing the enormity of losses that were unfathomable when we sang those songs. We've found comfort in reconnecting at the center of the two pieces of bread that comprise the sandwich generation; we are pressed between the needs of aging parents and active children.

As we dash into Christmas, with the magnetic north of family and tradition pulling many of us home, the reminders of the past are all around us. I find myself trying to slow down and focus on how it felt to sit in a circle of friends and listen to the gentle timbre of our youthful voices, rising and falling together. These salvaged memories are true and sweet: How could I forget the girl who sold so many cookies that she shared her riches with the rest of us, making sure we all won backpacks and badges?

Fast-forward past those days, though, and memories of the awkward and competitive worlds of middle school, high school and college take hold. Nothing was safe from judgment, especially Polo shirts, Pappagallo purses and new boyfriends. It turns out there's a beautiful gift of being in our 40s: That old judgment largely falls away. I look at these lifelong friends and remember them now in shiny braces and cable-knit knee socks. I look at my younger sister—my first friend—and see her whole life, how it's made her into a brilliant painter and mother. I know these women see me, too, as the shy and solemn girl in a green Girl Scout uniform with the hem rolled twice. With those memories, we honor each other with the gifts of trust, forgiveness and, above all, shared experience.

This Christmas, my loved ones will gather over buttermilk pie, corn pudding and the carols my daughter can now play on the piano. I'll be sure to give thanks for friends, both silver and gold, and remember to tell them: "A circle is round, it has no end/ That's how long I will be your friend."

  • Sometimes the person who knew you first feels like the one who knows you best.

Latest in Front Porch

More by Memsy Price

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Front Porch

  • One vote

    • Nov 12, 2014
  • Box of one

    Was I paying to be helped or to feel important, a bona fide expert on only myself?
    • Sep 24, 2014
  • The Old South (Hills)

    The Old South (Hills)

    • Sep 17, 2014
  • More »


Twitter Activity

Comments

'Anna Lee' is a truly beautiful song, Ms Dossett. And I love Levon Helm's rendition. You are blessed with a …

by Byron Miller on A song for Levon (Front Porch)

Just now seeing this....Liz and I were super close friends in the early 80s. She was so special. I had …

by RoBert 1 on In memoriam: Liz Holm, 1959–2013 (Front Porch)

Most Read

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation