The Nigerian proverb tells us to “Hold a dear friend with both hands.”

I’ve been MIA this week due to a quick trip to northern WI. Surrounded by beautiful autumn leaves, a calm but chilly Lake Superior and a lot of wildlife (including a wolf that my girlfriend Cara saw!), friends from OH, MI, MN and CO convened to connect after months up to five years of not seeing each other. It was a glorious gathering!

Isn’t it funny how you can not see a girlfriend for literally years and you feel like you just saw her yesterday? I feel that way with my girlfriends on the trip, especially Lindy who is a dog lover and felt our pain through losing our sweet golden, Stella, two months ago. We cried together, laughed together, ate a lot together, just enjoyed being in the same room or on the same hiking trail together.

What is it about true friendship that bonds us to each other? Is it our commonalities? Or do we seek diversity and a different point of view? It isn’t necessarily our ages – we had a 40 year range in our baker’s dozen of friends on this trip and conversations were never limited to regional, age or other demographics. We don’t all come from the same backgrounds – two teachers, several creatives, many entrepreneurs and a host of other characteristics. Our interests vary from sports to cultural events, crafts to reading, hiking to dancing. No one would have eHarmony’d us all to be great friends through years of change!

Over time, distance, changes, differences … friendships, especially between females, deserve to be cherished and celebrated. What a joy to experience beautiful friendships in such breath-taking surroundings. How sweet to walk beside a friend and learn from them, laugh with them, hold their hand and receive love and understanding from them.

Thanks Amy, Kate, Cara, Chondra, Jo, Aimee and Lindy for your love, support and friendship. May we have many more times in the future laughing, crying, sharing and just being … together.

What dear friends bless your life? Have you shared time with them recently? Or told them that you love them?