In the soul-sister spirit of Anna Quindlen, it’s widely known in a small circle that I make a mean spaghetti sauce, I can spy a surprisingly stunning paint swatch, and I have a semi-successful sideline in matchmaking. More importantly, I have a gift for making friends—an eye for the very best. The odds weren’t in my favor of finding Rachel in a packed and bustling JFK International airport. Admittedly, providence stepped in. Still within 5 minutes of our first real conversation, I knew she was a keeper. Who wouldn’t draw close to light? Of course, I was young. My brain wasn’t fully developed. There was no way to know then that I had discovered a once-in-a-lifetime friend.
Yes, this is a blog about the best books. But it’s as much about a consummate friendship. A friendship that started in a noisy airport terminal, flourished in a foreign country, and thrived immeasurably over years. It’s one for the books. For me, some of the most exquisite reads revolve around timeless friendships that are a lot like winter’s first generous snowfall—it beckons you to watch from the window with quiet wonder.
I’m sure I’ve learned how to be a friend, in part, from reading. I learned about the constancy of friendship from Minny & Abileen. No matter how ugly life got, they’d pull through because they had each other. Miriam’s sacrifice for Laila reminds me that the most profound relationships are rooted in unselfishness. I shudder to think what if Hamlet didn’t have Horatio? So maybe your best friend claims to have seen a ghost…or per chance, he tries to kill his uncle—as a best friend, it’s your job to love and support him anyway. Oh and don’t forget, it was Horatio who lived to tell Hamlet’s story. I don’t want that job for just anyone—a trusted task for Rae or a sister of mine.
Real friendships should provide us shade and cover. Respite. Honestly, I don’t know everything the magical formula entails. I do know it when I see it. Rachel and I…we show up. We listen. We laugh. The rest is just stardust.