Most of my closest friends live far away - some farther than others. At times, this fact is sad and distressing, almost a cause for despair. However, in the past year I've realized that it can also be a cause for rejoicing.
Though I miss living daily life with my friends - facing the mundane details side-by-side with my people - there is something to be said for having every visit be an occasion. When I want to see most of my oldest and dearest friends, I have to plan and coordinate to make it happen.
While the need to plan can sometimes be frustrating, it also means that when I'm with my friends, the time is for us to spend together. It doesn't matter what we do, we are more focused on enjoying one another than we might be if our visits were easier and more frequent. We know that our time is limited and I (I assume, we) cherish even the time spent doing nothing together.
And, as a bonus to all the amazing friend time, visits to my people can also be amazing retreats.
I get to spend hours reading at a friend's cabin.
Or watch the mist rise over a lake in early autumn at other friends' lake house.
Or write in my journal with only occasional (welcome) interruptions from little people.
My friends' homes are places full of good times and good people but the fact that I must travel to see them gives me the chance to get away from my normal life on a regular basis. It's beautiful. And, no matter how much I would love to be nearer my dear ones, distance has its benefits.