Maybe it's the season. Perhaps too much eggnog or one Christmas song too many. Regardless, I got to thinking about friends. Not in an intoxicated "I love you, man" kinda way, but an honest to goodness reflection of how enriching certain people are in my life.
I recently relocated 2200 miles from a town where friends were a phone call or a bike ride away. Prior to that, I moved 1000 plus miles from an area I spent the majority of my adult life. I have literally moved from one coast to another, spent months in other countries, and lived on the Quantico Marine Base.
The price for my wanderlust? Relationships that I thought could withstand anything, withered. Others became stronger because of the effort expended to keep them meaningful. Much of my success in life is because of the support of others; people who believed in my ability, who stood by me when I challenged the status quo, those who picked me up, dusted me off and shoved me back into the ring when I got knocked out.
I have incredible friends.
Some friendships were forged in the lonely nights of patrol where secrets were shared over a cup of tea while waiting for the next radio call. Other friendships were born in the Boardroom in Virginia. Still others developed because of a shared interest in the written word, or music, cycling, hiking, or the consumption of good food and stomped grapes.
So maybe it is the season that reminds me that the best gift of all doesn't need to be wrapped unless it's in a hug.
My friends, I thank you. May you find love, good health and happy travels this season and beyond.