My friend and I are lying back on the front lawn, late at night. Bats are flying low over our heads and the stars are glowing above us. The conversation floats easily back and forth, back and forth. Our words touch on our relationships, our wounds, our theologies, raising our children, the wonders of the bats, and the color of a neighbor’s door. The distinct trail of a shooting star appears like a formal message saying these are special moments, not to be taken for granted.
Sisters – like threads, necessary for binding life.
I have a biological sister. The weaving of our threads is deeply intertwined, but filled with knots of various sizes. These threads are painful to pull through the eye of the needle – leaving small deformities in life’s fabric or not pulling through at all. The thread may break altogether and then, because we are family, a different thread must be found and we begin our weaving again.
There are other sisters. Those brought through time and space, the miracle of connecting with the right person at the right time. These connections are smooth, pulling easily through life’s fabric. These are women whose threads combine with mine and give mutual strength to the fabric. They enter my life like bits of color adding definition and intensity.
An outing with a friend becomes a frivolous search through a multitude of flea markets. Her beautiful anniversary ring, which I have longingly coveted, is giddily duplicated for $2 at a jewelry table. (Her husband, the giver of the ring, was none too thrilled at the similarity!) Truly realistic masks become our alter-egos for a mere $3.50. The ebb and flow of the depths of who we truly are is shared so willingly, so easily. The mask now rests between some books at my office desk. Its edges peek out and remind me of the laughter, despair, joy and sorrow of my life and the comfort I find with the women who understand.
by Pat Rhees, – Summer of 1998