I am in the knowing of that moment, the one where I sit, all quiet, heart full and bursting with thoughts, the anxious mind strangely quiet while memories of a little cabin next to a winter run-off creek busily splashing and singing wash over me like a gentle spring rain quietly erasing the tired shoulders and over full-ness of rich foods with too many truffles.
There is a beauty in finding your tribe. Those faces both familiar and beautifully new as hearts are opened and the edges of our selves brush up against each other in whispers of,
“How is your son?”
“What is next for you?”
And we laugh….
Widowed far too young, the old soul of a seer rests carefully on shoulders accustomed to holding the cares of as many as are within reach. She sits on the antique rocking chair in a red, fluffy robe and wonders what the next place will bring and what God might have in store for her. She is alone. But not alone. Surrounding and surrounded by those who love her.
She is studying. Investing herself in the lives of those around her and reluctant to look at the ugliness of so many hurting children. She finds herself hesitant not because she wants to live in denial of pain but because she feels so deeply and bears a weight of empathy foreign to so many of us who shield ourselves in cynicism. And yet, this magnitude of her compassion is exquisitely precious to those near her bottomless heart.
These women drove hours and miles to see my corner of the world this past weekend. I fed them with my hands and they fed me with their wisdom and their hearts.
I am overwhelmed.
I am grateful for their quiet strength and the beauty of their faces.
To quote my husband, when I feel insecure and afraid of the judgment of others…
“If you could see YOU the way I see you, you would never be afraid.”
As the man across the room strums his guitar and the worship music flows from his fingers to my heart and bounces off golden, pine log walls and the river rock fireplace, it’s time to head home to tall men and strong arms, to the laundry from a weekend away and a little dog with terrible breath and devotion the size of Alaska.
This is a moment I won’t soon forget. I have been loved well and fully and without reserve by people who knew me when I was born and have watched me grow from bald to mullet to black, wild curls.
We are sisters.
We are our own tribe.
We are beautiful.
With one last hug at the intersection, a re-affirmation that we love, we long to see God’s best for each other, and realizing we don’t know when we’ll be able to do this again, I drive away. They drive away. Over the mountains and back to the little house, the big house, the busy family, the empty nest.
We leave empty. For the love held for a season has been poured out.
We leave full, receiving the love saved for us.