today, a friend from middle school contacted me, and i don't know how but i'm so glad she did. when i say friend, i don't mean someone who was in my class or rode the school bus with me (yes, i lived in the burbs for middle school and there was a cheese-like bus involved). she wasn't even in my grade. she was in the grade below me with my sister. it was those two and myself and the fourth was a sister in my grade, and we 4 were 1 - not the same, but still 1. being contacted by this sister today transported me back to a time pre-preconceptions. we made up steps and had sleep overs. we performed in talent shows and hung out with our boy-equivalents. we jumped double dutch and hung posters of brandy and naughty by nature and immature. we sang "creep" and "one in a million" and "red light special." we saw the craft and meditated relentlessly on light as a feather, stiff as a board. we went to the mall with maybe enough money to see a movie and buy a shirt (1 shirt) between the 4 of us and had a freakin' blast! we had summer adventures at my grandmother's house in the bronx and lost each other in the zoo. (that's a huge zoo, man!) when my sister and i moved to jersey city and the other counterparts remained in the burbs, we visited each other by train - new jersey transit was a long ride. we were there for major discoveries in each others' lives - imperfect parents and bogus guys and shady chicks and so many, many things. and it wasn't because we'd read any theory on black womens' relationships and the holistic health benefits of them. we were building community and didn't even know it! we loved each other without agendas or plans of action or political agendas or organizational protocol. nobody told us to or encouraged or discouraged it, but when we found each other we knew we were in the right place at the right time - even if everything seemed to be going wrong at the given moment. we didn't know about college or work or degrees or any of that, but we knew we would be connected always. and we were. and we are. and it is a blessing. it's been more than 8 years since the 4 of us were together, but now that our prodigal has returned it won't be long now. there will be much to share when we reconvene, but i bet my salary (if i were a gambling woman) it will be as though we never missed a beat.