Sunday afternoon we noticed an interesting group of ladies parked next to us. They were laughing and talking, very carefree and enjoying one anothers company. I immediately thought of my own friends, picking out a twin for each of us. They intrigued me. It took all of about 5 minutes for the intrigue to win, for me to ask for their picture for my blog. They were so relieved they weren't in trouble for having glass bottles on the beach that they eagerly said yes.
As I started writing this my instinct was to focus on the humor of it all, but instead I found myself amazed at the beautiful tapestry created by the threads of their friendship. I have spent the week pondering the many stories they've lived, and how these interwoven threads provide not only beauty, but strength. I have tried to imagine the individual threads of loss and love, sickness and health, broken marriages and fragile relationships, death and birth, aging of self and parents, spiritual struggles and growth...the vastness of the collective wisdom each has to share...the unbelievable strength usually unnoticed by others.
Thinking about these ladies has made me thankful for the women in my life, the multi-colored threads that weave in and out of my story even as I am interwoven into theirs. It has been a poignant reminder to cherish and nurture my friendships, to hold onto each one as though I am holding threads of the most precious silk. It has been a reminder of how blessed I am to have sisters who are my friends and friends who are my sisters These are the women who will surround me when my hair is gray...these are the women who will remember the younger more daring me...the women who know the path I have walked because they have walked it with me...the women who will love me until the end.
These ladies didn't know me, I didn't know them, yet the conversation flowed with an excitement that crackled in the ocean breeze. Yes, these are my American Idols. The women who have walked the path before me, the women who have left a trail of crumbs for those who walk the path behind them....the women who live, love, and laugh together still.