Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A token of friendship & thoughts thereon October 24, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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(Minnesota Prairie Roots edited and copyrighted photo October 2022)

GLINT OF SUNSHINE on metal caught his eye while mowing lawn. Five feet from the stop sign, Randy found the quarter-sized round in the grass. A friendship token with a center butterfly cut-out.

Like a writing prompt, my mind wandered to the story behind the token in our yard. How had it gotten there? When? Why? Plots form. Characters emerge. Tension builds.

I imagine the metal circle tossed by an angry friend. I picture friends—pre-teen or teen girls, simply because the token seems like something that age demographic would value—arguing. Perhaps their disagreement was over a boy or some weighty matter like name-calling or something trivial. No matter the reason, it was enough for one to fling the symbol of friendship onto a stranger’s lawn.

Or perhaps the coin was simply lost, fallen from a pocket. That scenario feels better, even if loss never feels good. I expect the physical reminder of friendship provided comfort and reassurance. Touch the coin when stressed, when missing a friend, when needing a moment of connection to someone who cares about you and loves you.

Friendships, no matter our ages, hold such importance. These are our people—those who get us, support us, encourage us, care about us, hold us dear. I cherish friends, from those who are on the level of just beyond everyday acquaintances to those with whom I can share anything and trust that they will listen, keep confidences and be there for me in joyful as well as challenging times. I reciprocate.


Certainly, friends come and go. The friends I had in grade school through college are mostly now friendships of memory. Memories of jumping rope during recess, dining at Club 59 in Marshall senior year and sitting cross-legged on dorm beds far away from home, our worlds opening wide. These friends will always hold a piece of my heart.

Moves, life changes, circumstances, differences and more change friendships, grow friendships, end friendships. That’s a given in life.

Technology has changed how we connect, form relationships. Through blogging, I’ve grown some close friendships with other bloggers. I never expected this, to first connect online and then develop friendships (think visiting one another, dining together, emailing one another and more). It’s wonderful, this widening of my friends circle. That circle is large, encompassing friends now from New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, even the Netherlands, and other locales, including many places in Minnesota.


Life is hard. There’s no denying that we all face challenges at some point in life. But true friends lighten those struggles by their simple, non-judgmental presence, by their support and encouragement. Family histories, grievances and experiences don’t get in the way. These are our friends. Pure. Simple. They accept and love us as we are, for who we are.

I may not carry a friendship token in my pocket. But I understand its symbolism, its importance. I hope whoever lost or tossed that metal circle into my yard has reclaimed her friendship or realized the friendship was not worth continuing. Sometimes that’s the hard truth, too, that not all individuals should remain our friends. Sometimes the friendship token needs to be tossed into a stranger’s yard, left behind so we can move forward.

TELL ME: How do you define friendship and how has it changed for you through the years?

© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


17 Responses to “A token of friendship & thoughts thereon”

  1. Friendship transcends geography and time. I love how I can pick up right where I left off with a friend I haven’t seen for years. It’s something I work to maintain and I must admit I grieve those friendships that have gone by the wayside.

    Making new friends at mid age or later is more difficult. It takes a little more work but so worth it.

    And my thoughts about that token —- I think someone is totally missing it and sad they lost it.

  2. wow, Audrey. This is beautifully penned. Makes me wistful for friendships of years ago. I love your thought of the token being ‘lost’, not thrown away with the token being a precious momento. ❤ ❤

  3. beth Says:

    What a thought- inspiring find. I see friendship as connection. Some friendships are sort term and others endure over the years regardless of circumstance and distance. I do believe in people entering each other’s lives for a reason we may not even understand at the time. It takes an effort to continuously connect on some level even if long times in between, to stay friends. I have been fascinated by the friendships that begin with the new very young children in my class. These are organic connections made without any outside influence a a minimum of life experience with others than their own family. I love watching those whose friendships endure over their school years and beyond

  4. Ken Wedding Says:

    I very recently lost a good friend unexpectedly, so friendship has been on my mind. I’ve also been meaning to thank you for your thoughts and words. Your thoughts and words have been a wonderful addition to the thoughts and words in my own mind. That’s close to friendship. Thank you.

    • Ken, I am sorry for the loss of a good friend. That’s tough. I hope you can hold onto that friendship through memories and a love and connection that endures even without your friend’s presence.

      I’m grateful for your kind words. There are days when I write from my heart and when that resonates with others, I feel especially thankful. Take care, Ken, and thank you for stopping by.

  5. Valerie Says:

    I always enjoy thinking of things as writing prompts!

    Thank you for your thoughts on friendship. There is no quick answer for your question, but good food for thought. I’m grateful for the friends in my life…I wouldn’t want to go through life without them…even though some were in my life for a short while. I think they were put there by God, when I needed them. 😉

  6. Beautiful post today 🙂 I have had a few hard transitions in moving away from family as well as trying to make friends for the first time in 9th grade (like that age is not awkward and challenging enough – ha!). Then there are the relationships that end and end for multiple reasons (i.e., marriages, kids/no kids, maturity, etc.). Thank goodness for technology to keep connected and I have had a few re-connections too. Happy Day – Enjoy!

    • Your insight about moving away from family and trying to make friends in a new place is relate-able. It’s not easy always to be the newcomer in a well-established generational community. I expect you have some close friends in Florida and also from other places you have lived. You impress me as caring, kind and compassionate, exactly the type of friend to hold dear.

    • Yes, the friendships I do have are dear and it is funny sometimes how we just pick up as if we live right next door to each other. Just like family scattered throughout the U.S. (and some abroad) I have friends from all over the place too. I love it because I get to learn from them about the places where they live and vice versa. Same with the bloggers I have formed friendships with. Like you truly bring me back to my MN roots. There are plenty of places I want to check off on my travel bucket list too.

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