This picture was taken in Michigan, at the annual gathering of a group of high school friends (aka, the Divas). A nice size contingent of the nine of us gets together every year to catch up and reminisce (and maybe drink a little wine). Some of us were closer than others back in the day but about a decade ago we decided to make a commitment to come together at least once a year because, well, life is just too short not to.
We all grew up in a blue collar town south of Detroit in the 60s and 70s. Our high school graduating class counted 601 students. It was a time when most of our parents had steady jobs that they could count on until retirement and the possibilities we saw for our future selves were nowhere near what kids graduating from high school have today. (I had never met anyone who went to college out of state or even heard of study abroad) Each of us have taken different paths, live in various locations around the country, and engage in the world in our own unique way.
What is so fresh in my mind right now, after having just enjoyed my time with these wonderful women, is that our shared history often serves as a shield against upset or hard feelings when something runs amok. We are able to seamlessly consider the totality of our relationship when deciding how upset to be over something said or done that ticked us off. For example, there is quite a continuum of political leanings with this crowd. That, obviously, has the potential to be disastrous if a bit of care and curiosity aren’t taken during the discussion. Or, if one of us gets a bit too full of ourselves, that only lasts a minute because just about everyone in the group has seen you puking your guts out after too much Boons Farm (we drink better wine now). Regardless of what kind of behavioral misstep occurs, there is a quality to this gathering that feels like settling into a cushy, yet sturdy, chair – soft, supportive and trustworthy.
I am so blessed to be embraced by my friends who have walked with me through my journey as an adult as well. But each time I am with these girls from my younger days, I am reminded of the foundation they provided back, and now, that shows me what a great friend looks and feels like.