To befriend someone is to become acquainted with their mind. To agree to walk side by side with their sentiments and keep beseeching, "show me". To search out their thoughts and see what trails they've wandered and which ones they've avoided. It's to become familiar with the places they say seem dark and impenetrable, and to patiently say, "I see that darkness, I have darkness too." It's to move with them — speeding at their speed and slowing at their slow. It's sitting quiet and still at the edges of their cerebral and emotional maps and dreaming together that the page could continue, perhaps. It's apologizing when you trip over the roots that have overgrown some paths. It's marveling at all the landscapes you discover in your friend.
If falling in love is free-falling down in an unexpected and destined ecstasy, becoming friends is the intentional sweaty trudge up a mountain for a view few live to see.
Not one day have I ever regretted our climb towards friendship. Not one day have I lamented traversing your mind — first.
I say rather to those just getting started, if you're going to fall in love, do it on a mountain top, like I did.