So here I am, scrolling through various websites on my laptop, looking at Oscar dresses, summer shoes and It-bags thinking ‘I need to take notes.’ And as I reach into my handbag to take out my notebook out rolls this walnut. I completely forgot I put it there three days ago and I begin to smile. I don’t like walnuts in general. But I do like this one.
You see, it was given to me by a very dear friend that day. ‘One for he road.’ he said as I was halfway out the door. We had just spend many hours in close proximity after being apart for quite some time, laughing and talking about everyday life, our feelings and fears and in general sharing the sound knowledge we were indeed still close and enjoying each other’s company.
He was cracking walnuts with his bare hands during one of our conversations and as I pointed out to him this was not the easiest way he remarked that having to work harder to get to the nut was more rewarding in a certain way and also felt as a justification for eating it. At the time I felt he was just being silly and messy and made a mental note to buy him a nutcracker.
But as I sit here looking at that walnut, still smiling and enjoying the warm feelings, it occurs to me even though I can get myself all the dresses and shoes I want, the feeling of fulfillment that comes with it included, this can never replace the feeling I get from spending time like I did with a friend.
This is not news. And I do realize it sounds corny even. But when was the last time you consciously thought about it? I will be honest with you, I really do not think about it enough. It is all too easy to get sucked up in working for the life you want to lead, with all the embellishments and outwardly signs that say ‘See? I am doing alright.’.
And I very much get it, it feels nice. I too get a thrill out of my wonderful house, great outfits, planning little get-aways and the luxury of access to modern-day devices and services. And it would be hard for me to give it all up. And there is no need to do so. But that walnut served as a very strong reminder not only need I work harder for experiences instead of possessions, I also need to strive to get more enjoyment out of these experiences. In other words: invest more in my relationships and start taking them a lot less for granted.
Now, I am not quite sure how said friend will react to my brief portrayal of his. But I can almost hear him say ‘That is just great, so according to you I am a nut-cracking, messy guy who gives away just the single nut as a goodbye present?!’.
He is not.
He is a very good friend who taught me something real just by being there and inadvertently showing me the true value of a nut.