a light at the end of the lincoln tunnel

chapped, raw, dry.  those words very accurately describe my soul's state during much of this winter. stinging in pain, unable to find much relief, constantly nagging at me.  thankfully the last few weeks have brought about an easing of much of my discomfort and, as i shared here, a gentle breeze has been blowing through my heart again.  thank God. literally. 

but for all the slow-paced recovery that has been taking place in the last few weeks, i am amazed at how less than 48 hours could do the work that was done in my soul a few weekends ago.  i found peace and comfort and quiet and healing. where you may ask? new york city of course.  harlem to be exact.  

now it might seem strange to you, and thats because it is strange.  who goes to the heart of the craziest city on earth and comes away feeling rested and restored?  who goes there chapped and raw and comes back well on the way to newness.


the city was dazzling, the lights inspired, but of course that did not do the trick.  what made all the difference was not the where, but the who.  and the who were the very oldest and dearest friends in my life.  

ive known kristina and julie since elementary school and so we have been friends for over twenty years.  twenty years is a lot of friendship.  and since all three of us have 30th birthdays around the same time, we thought a trip with our husbands to the big apple would be just about right.  and it was.  it was less than 40 hours of sight seeing, eating, drinking, playing bohnanza, taking pictures, laughing, and staying up till 4 am because we could not stand the thought of the day ending.

and it was also really special because of the men we married.  not only do we each love each other's husbands, but all the guys get along so well and transform each other into the most ridiculous forms of themselves.   i find that that is very rare, even for two couples, let alone three. 

but the weekend was not just wonderful because it was over the top with delicious food, drink, and laughter.  it did not soothe my soul because we had so much fun.  the reason i came away feeling renewed and refreshed was because these girls bring out the very core of who i am, parts of me that don't come out around many people, and i feel truly myself. hear me, i have many wonderful friends who bless my heart in so many distinct ways, and for each of them i am incredibly thankful.  but those people, your tribe, who have known you through your entire life, watched you at your worst time and again, seen you grow and change from a second grader to a mother...those people just get you in a way that only happens over time, its a gradual wearing-in and not wearing-out thing.  

and these two in particular know me inside and out.  

we did not have many deep conversations.  we did not even mention the event that has plagued me all winter.  we just were together.  we WERE.  and being, just being, around people who get you to your core, its therapeutic in a way that nothing else can be. 

let's hear it for new york.