May friendship, like fine wine, improve as time advances.
And may we always have old wines, old friends, and young worries.
This is the toast that I usually give at annual gatherings of friends – at our annual (or, sometimes, twice-annual) meeting of Sams authors; at our new-years/Christmas dinner of some of my dear freinds, which I suppose may not happen this year; and at a few other select events.
This year, friendship, like fine wine, has shown some unexpected qualities. Some, which have been mediocre in the past, have proven themselves to be of enormous depth and value. Others, thought to be wonderful, have shown themselves to be plonk. Still others, cellared and forgotten for 10+ years, have been discovered and found surprisingly sweet, and that much of the cloudiness that was there before has settled out, leaving a sharp clarity.
So, enough analogy.
But, as Solomon said, woe to the man who falls down and does not have a friend to pick him up.
And, so, to my dear friends, old and new, thank you, and may you always have old wine and young worries.