The bond with our communities is strong even when apart and draws us back in seamlessly when needed.

By the time we reach adulthood, many of us have had the good fortune to have at least one community of chosen people to be our refuge. If we have moved around or changed our life situation repeatedly, we may be lucky enough to have had several. This relationship is often our earliest intimate personal relationship, and it can be a source of great warmth and connection throughout our lives. The details changes as we grow up and grow older, but the heart of it remains the same. The warm refuge in which we feel free to be fully ourselves, to share our deepest secrets, to rest when we are tired, to celebrate when we are happy–a place in which we feel utterly welcome to give and receive that most precious of all gifts, love.

Though this relationship hit bumps from time to time, one of the hallmarks is the ability to ride out turbulence and remain intact even as it faces changes. We can find those who manage to love us through all of our transitions, as we do the same for them. We find ways to embrace and appreciate the differences that set us apart and offer love and support no matter what. We allow each other to be exactly as we are at a given moment, even as we allow each other to change over time. In this way, we are family and we know how to stick together regardless of where our individual paths lead.

We may be in contact with each other every day, or we may not have spoken for a year, yet we know that our bond will be strong and immediate when we do connect. This bond ties us together even when we are apart and draws us blissfully back into the warm refuge of each other’s company when our paths bring us together again.

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