I had a fascinating conversation this morning with my best friend and a speaker that will be presenting for an event at our parish.
We were talking about the power of friendship and the indelible bonds that women throughout history have held to support one another throughout the many seasons of their lives.
One point in particular was food for thought.
As a historian, she related that throughout the ages and still in many parts of the world today, marriage is a contractual relationship...often arranged by people that are not in the union. Consequently, for years, women have relied upon multiple ancillary connections with family members, friends, and others in the community to sustain them.
In modern days, our concept of marriage has become significantly more isolated and pressuresome. Often, we expect our partners to serve as our confidants on the majority of matters in our lives. In no other relationship do we place this kind of expectation...which, as we've seen statistically, can create disjointedness, frustration, anger, separation, and sometimes, divorce.
The truth is...it takes a village...not just to raise children...but to thrive on the face of this earth. We need each other and relationships with others for all kinds of reasons. Our role is to support, encourage, love and nurture those connections...understanding that they provide us with something unique and significant.
I am grateful for the many friendships, family relationships and acquaintences I've met along the way...that feed my soul.