I caught these women walking through a local marketplace in Asakusa before the busy day began. One pair embraces the ancient culture by wearing yukata, the casual kimono style. The other embraces western styles like graphic t-shirts, tennis shoes and bare legs. Both sets of friends are talking and walking and enjoying the fellowship while they travel to their location. They reminded me of the time I have spent walking with my friends, talking , sharing the day. These ladies may have different challenges and a completely different world, yet their need for friendship is the same as mine. 

Traveling with a friend can make all the difference. It makes time go more quickly and tasks of the day seem less mundane. There is someone to provide a trusted opinion as well as set you straight when your thinking is hinky. Friendship provides an arena for us to be ourselves, try out new ideas, and feel accepted no matter how stupid we may behave. Friendship lends comfort when life beats us up or breaks our heart. I am not sure these Japanese ladies eat ice cream straight out of the container, yet I have a sneaking suspicion that indulging in red bean paste over soft serve fulfills the same objective. 

Friesnhip is universal. Not matter the culture, location, preferred style of dress or generation, friendship makes life better. It takes the edge off the terrible, horrible, no good days and enhances joy, success, and excitement. When either happens there is hopefully a friend you want to share it with first. I hope today you have someone to share life with – a good friend who cheers you to greatness or embraces you during times of sorrow. Someone to travel with or walk to the market. Someone to smile when they see you coming, or hug you before you depart.