Roots. A word which symbolizes life and strength. The roots of a tree are a source of moisture and minerals, and provide a stabilizing factor which prevents the tree from succumbing to the elements. For humans, roots are deeply embedded in our family and friends, particularly those who have known us most of our lives. They provide nourishment. They anchor us. They feed our souls.

The three of us had bonded in 6th gradeMonday night found me at a local synagogue with my husband, where my old schoolmate Ruth walked down the aisle with her husband to join her eldest son and his bride beneath the chupah, the marriage canopy. I sat beside another childhood friend, Rosa. The three of us had bonded in 6th grade, and now, forty-one years later, Rosa and I reminisce about our youth, middle age and the many life challenges we have all faced in between. And we chat about our contemporaries, those who survived the four decades – and those who didn't. We marvel and thank G‑d that we're all here to enjoy this joyous occasion.

While we feast, I look over at Ruth's brother Mark. I'm transported to another time, and see myself smiling at their doorway, just a few blocks from ours. Ruth and I are playing a card game called "Concentration" when her little brother, Mark, joins us as he often did, and wins (as he always did).

Reality check. "Little" Mark, now in his forties, is a practicing physician, and he beams proudly at his children. I walk over to say hello and I let him know that I have never forgotten our card games. Nourishment.

Later that evening I pass Ruth's parents, now in their eighties. They were there when my world fell apart, when my father passed away in 1970. I lean over, and with moist eyes hug them both as their kind, wonderful smiles take me back to many fond memories. Anchoring.

I watch Ruth as she walks over to our table, beckoning me to join the bride and her entourage dancing breathlessly behind the curtain. Ruth glows with contentment. She floats through the room and I follow, eagerly welcoming the dizzying rhythm of the traditional "Hora" dance. First one large circle, then other smaller concentric ones, each with its own pulse, each with its own story. The bride, the mothers, the sisters and aunts, the friends… singing, laughter. Feeding of the souls.

They were there when my world fell apartThere are times in our lives when we need to move forward. And then there are those retrospective occasions which urge us to stop and reflect, to return to our roots where hazy memories become clear and pulsate with life, when simple acts of long ago seem to take on greater meaning and relevance today. Whether or not we appreciated those precious moments makes no difference as long as we take the time to reflect on them now, or perhaps even tomorrow. It's never too late. I was given that chance at this Monday night wedding, when my perennial roots wrapped around my grateful and receptive spirit, embracing me with a familiar warmth and comfort which will remain with me for a long time to come.

Ruth, Rosa and I have been meaning to get together, the three of us, which we haven't done since, well - our childhood. So we thought maybe we'd go out for dinner or coffee sometime. We've been attempting to do this since last year, when Ruth married off her middle son. Seriously, a whole year of procrastinating, trying to accommodate each of our busy schedules. Monday night Rosa and I vowed to never let that happen again. So, we're making plans soon. We'll do it. Like the branches of a tree, we must sway and bend with the wind, for our roots are strong and are intertwined forever.