Today I met up with my longest-standing girl friend. We've been "best friends" since we were 14 back in Canada. She comes to New York annually to visit the museums (she's an Art Historian), so we met up this evening in Manhattan.
You'll often hear me saying that with a true friend, you can be out of touch for years but when you do finally meet up, it's as if you saw each other last week. There's just a continuum to the relationship that causes the gap to fade away. B'H', I have such friends. Especially at this point in our lives, it is, bli ayin hara, difficult to keep in touch as frequently as we would like. To have that sense of being grounded through our relationship over the course of decades offers much comfort, to say the least.
As scary as it may be to all you men out there, I can vouch from personal experience on several occasions that when girlfriends interact constantly, their physical cycles synchronize. My friend and I seem to take this synchronisation a step further: we may have only seen each other 3 times in the last 12 years (twice being in the last year!), but our lives are forever in synch; whatever she is going through at a given juncture, is what I am also experiencing.
I mention all this for a simple reason: we generally take these connections for granted. By take for granted, I mean we often do not stop to fully appreciate the beracha of such friendships. Instead, it is only in the absence of these connections that we come to recognize what an important role such relationships serve. When you have someone who is going through the same thing as you, you have a kindred spirit who can truly relate to your life. By extension, you also gain by obtaining satisfaction from fulfilling the same role for your friend.
Perhaps most importantly though, we take for granted the fact that in Hashem' s world, He creates billions of such connections and maintains them constantly for our benefit. I may give lip service to Hashem, thanking Him for His Kindness in granting me such friends, my husband, etc., but how much time do I devote to really thinking about what those connections mean on a grand scale, beyond my little universe?
So, B'H', and Todah Hashem for granting me these connections. And Todah Hashem for creating such a fantastic, awesome world, a world wherein we can learn from the plentiful connections you bring into our lives, and grow.