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Updated: Jan 19, 2023

March 20th last year, I turned 50 years old. Quite a milestone I might add. I pondered long on how I wanted to celebrate my five decades on this earth.

I wasn’t really in a party mood after the years of lockdown. I noticed that my deepest longing was to have a day in the company of men. Hiking, deep connection and laughs.

I asked ten men to go on a hike with me, followed by a pub roast and a lovely bitter Ale. Even though it was rather short notice, I was really excited that they all said yes! So I planned the day around the Seven Sisters on the south coast.

A few days before my birthday I suddenly got a fever and two days later I tested positive for COVID. Two whole years I managed to avoid catching it, but it got me in the end. And what a timing!

I discussed with the men and although there was a lot of compassion, most did not feel comfortable to join me on the walk. I completely respected that off course, even though I felt horrible thinking I would spend my day of Abraham alone.

Then I received a call from one of those men and he said he refused to leave me celebrating my 50th alone and took me in a walk in the Surrey hills (with 2m distance off course). My body was quite well recovered and I managed to handle the hills and enjoyed it a lot. The walk was followed by a zoom call with the rest of the men where beautiful things were shared by each and one of them. What a gift.

What struck me the most was the importance of friendship and brotherhood. Often I tend to take friendships for granted, something what is there and will always be there when I need it. However it is a valuable gift of life, something that needs to be nourished and addressed. Friendship needs energy, regular checking in and a certain amount of commitment. Only then it feels full and solid.

Having male support in my life is important to me. It keeps me sharp and it gives me the feeling of someone having my back. I have always found this by having solid male friendships, and later in life in the shape of a men's group.

If you are male. How do you experience friendship? Do you have sufficient male support in your life?

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