There are only two ways of spreading light—to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

— Edith Wharton

This quote reminds me of my best friendships.

There is nothing more powerful than the bond between girlfriends who have seen each other through many of life’s changes.

When my friend Sandy unexpectedly called last night, we had one of those conversations where the feelings are real, raw and deeply personal. Though we email occasionally, we haven’t seen each other in over a year.  But have the kind of friendship where we aren’t face-to-face often, but when we are our dialogue is as intimate as if we saw each other five minutes ago.

Today I woke up feeling a deep gratitude for her and the years we’ve known each other.

Having met as young-ish adults, we now marvel at what different people we were back then.  The world was also younger and less technologically advanced, a time when email was not yet commonplace and iPods didn’t exist.  Our lives were simpler, but somehow felt complicated back then as we flailed about, trying to figure out who we wanted to be in the world.

We’ve seen each other through our varied iterations: new boyfriends, unrequited love, marriage, sick parents, homeownership and on and on.  We’ve stood witness as we grew into the women we are today.

The one consistent element throughout our friendship has been our love of food.  We’ve bonded over many things, but most especially crème brûlée.  (And for the record, we are both greedy and we want our own dessert.) She laughed about my food personalities over the years: a vegetarian who didn’t eat any vegetables when we first met, later morphing into a carnivore who ate every piece of bacon my eyes fell upon, and now navigating the terrain of a gluten-free girl.  She, on the other hand, has always been the steadfast domestic goddess, churning out beautiful baked goods for everyone in her neighborhood.

As we ended our conversation, she said, “you know, I’ve always said that we are soul sisters.”  The bonds of female friendship, uniquely and intimated tied together at the heart.

And for that I feel very grateful.