I’m writing this in the airport having just spend a week with a group of friends who mean the world to me. For the past 18 months, we have been spending our Monday nights on Zoom with each other. They’ve been an anchor of my week, consistently one of the highlights, and a vital community during the COVID-19 pandemic, when I was often feeling otherwise isolated.

Way back at the beginning of the pandemic, we talked about getting together when it wound down. Surely by August 2020, we all thought. Lol.

Nearly a year later, we started planning. Amazingly, we all made it through the hours of calls devoted to AirBnbs and rental cars and the harrowing adventure of traveling during a pandemic. We stayed together in Portland, OR for a few days and then drive up the Olympic Peninsula to a grand old house in the forest. From there we hiked and kayaked. We ate together and laughed and played music. We finished our trip with a ferry ride to Seattle, WA.

I’m so grateful for every one of these people. We’ve been friends for years and even though our lives have taken us in so many different directions, we’ve found each other again and that is so wonderful.