Women who have known me through multiple lifetimes. Who can conjure a visceral memory I forgot I had: hard conversations in the laundry room under the lodge. Who had the same-but-different experience of being followed by men in India. Who can solo lift a stupidly heavy aluminum canoe, and who can talk about how that’s an exclusionary hurdle for women in the Boundary Waters.
We sat outside in the sun– all the fire we needed suspended above us in the sky, all the church that has ever existed in the six feet between us.
Dale the cat didn’t approach me, but he also didn’t hide for days. Eddie the 2-year-old joined our conversation and showed us his “other” mittens, because spring is heaving, slowly but surely, and his usual pair were soaked and muddy.
“Life is messy,” said one friend. “If there’s not grace, then…” She shrugged.
We talked about children and babies and marriage and divorce and covid and in-laws and how we haven’t seen each other in a million months, and how can someone else’s baby be almost one year old when we haven’t even held her yet?– and how is my own nearly as tall as me?
What’s next? What’s now? Who are we, and how do we do this well? The answer seems to be: we are people who gather in the light, turning toward it and each other like hungry flowers– now and next and always.