Maitri is the sanskrit word for friendliness. It's Spring, the time when it's easy to be friendly. Flowers are booming, everything is green, the birds chirp, the sun shines, vacation plans or short beach and river trips are made, and people are kind and considerate toward each other. I am going to make this short today because I want to get out and enjoy it some more, but I just wanted to say that my heart is so full right now, of love for the people in my life who encourage me. A series of incidents the past three days have convinced me that while individual strength is a great thing indeed, we are nothing without each other. It's all the ways in which we cultivate maitri and one of its partners, karuna, or compassion, that give us real power. As a very VERY wise and compassionate yogi told me this morning when I took his class, kindness draws people to us. And having people around us in a community can be a source of real strength both in beautiful and bright times as well as times of strife and darkness. "As your grandmother said," he told me, "you catch more flies with sugar than with vinegar." So true!!!