So I've been doing a little travelling...a week a month for the past few, to be exact. It's never easy to be away from family but at the same time, on each of these trips, I've been surrounded by some incredible women. I was just thinking on it the past few days, as I've been sort of rumbling around here, wondering why I'm so out of sorts....and then I figured it out. I've been surrounded by greatness. In real life. Not the stuff that movies are made of but the stuff that life forges in people. Women who've been overwhelmed by life and overcome it. Women who I am forever indebted to for the incredible way they've allowed their stories to encompass mine and vice versa. Women that breathe absolute life into me, leaving me, an introvert, dying for more of their company and wisdom. Young women. Older women. Women of my age that fall in between those categories. Mothers, daughters, sisters, career women, life savers and life givers. If all I am known for is the company I keep, I'm going to be remembered well.
This is just a small sampling of the lovely faces I get to have around me. When I'm with them, I'm my best self. There are more. There are high school friends and confidantes, women willing to drive for a couple hours just for a dinner together and making it altogether memorable. There is a new baby girl in the home of one of my dearest friends here in Saskatoon. There are hard times in the lives of others. Separations. Sickness. Sadness. And yet, friendship - true friendship - isn't diminished by time or distance. I've learned that now.
I had a moment (think...extended dance mix length moment) at the wedding of a young woman who I've known since she was just a junior high kid with a southern accent and the loudest laugh I've ever heard...a moment in which I had the audacity to feel gypped of time together - of all we'd missed. And then, I realized, none of us are promised any time at all, and I went back to celebrating. At least, until I had to say goodbye again and then it was 10 miles of tears through the Tahoe National Forest with Robin at the wheel. 8 years ago tomorrow, and I do still mark the day, it was two state lines from NV to CA to OR before I ran out of tears and came up for air. So, that's progress. And you know, the beauty of it is, that though I've had to grieve the losses, I'm grateful for the friendships.
It's been an amazing couple of months, reconnecting and feeling refreshed by it all. As I look forward in the next couple of weeks, I see a trip that fills me with such excitement as well, as Aidan and I head back to Zambia to reconnect with our friends and loved ones there. I know that there are lots of people who think it's giving up something to go to Zambia in the middle of the best months of summer in Saskatchewan. It's not. In fact, it's the most anticipated weeks of my year. I can't wait.
|May with some really great women from my past...so good.|
|These two. A cabin. Non stop laughter. Tears.|
|June -These are two of the women I look up to most in life. Absolute love.|
|June -This southern girl|
|June -This beautiful girl and her new husband|
|July-Book Club Ladies|