Every day I am astounded by the women around me. By their strength and beauty, determination and limitless, if sometimes faltering, courage.
They are often the women who have been the mothers not only of their own children but of their own mothers. The ones who have been the caregivers from childhood, have weathered the deep dark, have waded in scalding streams and swum against a waterfall. And every single one of them is beautiful, each differently so, their light shining and to me in often moments, gently blinding. These are the women who have surrounded my life, the ones I reach out to, embrace and speak ever and on-going thank-you tos. Their hair silver, and blonde, white and rich brown, almost maroon, uniquely colorful, but always covering heads full of the real of wisdom. Their clothes, conservative, or trendy, cutting edge or simple, cover the scars, the muscles, the layers, the pieces that have carried them through decades of illness and angst, their own and the ones they have healed or stood beside.
All of these women laugh--- loud, long, soft, wide, appropriately and inappropriately. All of these women, I am convinced, giggle and snort with the angels.
These are the women who every day, change their world, my world, this world and we all whether we know it or not, count on it.
I have sat in the long dark tunnels with them, each of us looking for the thinnest stream or miniscule pinpoint of light that will give guidance towards the next place, or step, or movement forward, squinting towards and for the light that will symbolize the hope and the going beyond. I have held them tight through their tears and my own and sat in belief and disbelief, in the waiting, in the dance, in the heart splattered yet singing. I have seen when transformation comes, the blessedness of patience, deep devotion, prayer, the blessedness of suffering held within grace, held within it all.
Yesterday she flew.
My friend who will soon be 50. She flew through the air in a dance on fabric, her blonde hair hanging towards the ground. She waltzed in space, with wings of giant turquoise. Her strong arms, walking her up the blue and up the yellow into the air, towards the sky. Her smile hiding her fear of performance, hiding anything else in her heart, just showing us the luminosity of challenge when challenge is met and befriended and takes us to new heights. This friend of mine who has supported and lifted my soul, shared life's sweetness and blessing bowls, the best of sunsets and giggles; this friend of mine who somehow unthinkably, improbably, impossibly, traveled with me a few weeks ago to the most cutting, jarring and soul-shaking place in our relating and who matched me step by step finding our way back out, blessedly walking through melting the hard and jagged into a liquid stream and back into the golden heart of love.
She is alone, or a part of 2 or 3, dancing in the air with those 2 and 3 decades younger, and she is outshining them all, golden, luminous and smiling.
I watch her, I am inspired, I am profoundly thankful, I am in the heart of grace.
She is one of the women, one of the strong, one of the beautiful.
She is a weaver, she is an alchemist and she flies,
with the greatest of seeming ease.