There are people who walk into our lives sometimes and we just know they're going to be a big part from then on ... that they will become a close friend, someone significant. Maybe it's a personal radar in search of goodness for our lives. Intuition. It happens very seldom, as it should ... we all have only so much space in our hearts.
One of my friends like that moved away last month and I've been strong and positive and kept it all together but today I feel sad and it's permeating everything and my son, who misses her son too, said there are some friends you can never ever replace, no matter how many times you try. He knows this at age 7. I wish there were words I could say to him to make it all OK but i have to let him grieve and try and guide him on the way, wishing it were easier.
I just finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert's 'Committed' a few days ago and I really enjoyed it. She writes about many aspects of marriage across different communities ... and one of the things which really resonated with me throughout the book was the reminder of how much we, as women, need our female friends. Our mirrors, our reflectors, our reminders of who we were and who we are becoming ... friends to laugh with and cry with and sometimes drown sorrow into the red with. Women who keep us real and centered, and to whom we can vent to about the women we are not good friends with! In some communities generations of women share daily life, they cook and harvest and grow their children and help out where it's needed and share husband-frustrations all under the same roof. While that might drive some of us completely crazy there is a great support in a community like that - the men go off and do what men do and the women take care of their day to day work together - whether it's weaving or cooking or childcare ... some are earning livings but in their communities, together. How the fabric of society has changed.
We have so much freedom now, in the Western first world, and so many new choices of how we live and what values we hold dear. But we still need that network of sisters, friends, women around us - holding us up, taking our hands, laughing loudly at our jokes, walking with us, drying our tears, loving our children. Loving us. We place so much importance on finding a partner for life with a long list of qualities we long for ... we should be teaching our daughters that finding good friends is just as important, arguably more so.
Today, after missing one friend and fighting for another, I am tired and needing a little quiet space to recover. I am sending this out across all the seas between us and our friends in this world. It's a good day to reach out to the people you love, even if you haven't seen them in a while and feel like things are drifting. Just a word, a smile, a silly note.
Let's send a little love and appreciation into the ether today for the women who truly touch our lives and make us better versions of who we were before we met them.
This one's for you M.