As most of my loyal readers know, I was off last week galavanting through the snow with an old friend, Beth. I am inspired to pay tribute to an aspect of my relationship with Beth because I realized last week once again in real life one of the reasons why I love Beth and why we have remained friends over the years and the distance between us.
And that is laughter.
Do you have a friend that you can be absolutely ridiculously silly with? A friend that makes you smile a little bigger and a little brighter and a little deeper? The kind of smile that resonates through your being and warms your soul? The kind of laughter that leaves you out of breath?
Well, I have that with Beth.
We met in college on a soccer field and it was her energy that attracted me to her. She is upbeat and positive and has a spring in her step like none other. Our friendship was formed during early morning practices, evening games in the Southern California air, and away games to Fresno and San Luis Obispo. There's something to be said about chicks that compete together as a team - that bond is strong. My soccer teammates were my sorority sisters per se during college.
Life happens as it does and after college Beth and I went our separate ways. Twenty years after graduation (yes, it's been twenty years - wow) we find ourselves at opposite ends of the country and radically different ways of life. Beth's a farmer in rural Vermont cutting heads off of chickens and enduring the bitter cold on a winter morning to feed the cows, and I'm, well, sipping cappuccinos watching The Today Show in densely populated West Los Angeles
It had been seven years since we saw each other and we each were on our way to the biggest change of our lives - becoming mothers. Our bellies were just starting to pop with our firstborns when we snowshoed together on her farm years ago. When we first saw each other at the airport in Jackson Hole last week, well it sounds cliche, but it was like no time had passed.
The hug was fierce, the vibe as real as it comes, and off we went to laugh. And laugh we did.
At the most ridiculous things wherever we were. In the middle of a swanky spa, on a long snowy walk along the Snake River, at a restaurant dining on the yummiest food I've had in a while, at her mountain home hanging by the fire.
Yes, Beth is the kind of friend where it doesn't matter how long it's been. It always feels just like yesterday. And we're older and maybe a little bit wiser and we're responsible and we're mothers, but the laughter is the same. Exactly the same as when we were 19 years old kicking a ball around on a grassy field.
So let's give it up for deep, real, belly-shaking, corners-of-your-mouth-stinging, eyes-squinting, side-splitting laughter. Friends who you can do that kind of laughing with is where. it's. at.
Beth and me along the Snake River