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.

Posted by Tracy