An Evening in the Company of Women

by cindy

 

 

One bottle of wine needed a corkscrew, so I headed toward the kitchen in search of one. The hostess of the party noticed me with the bottle in hand and knew she would be needed to find that corkscrew.

“Nope, I got this” I said after she handed me the opener and offered to do it for me. “Lots of practice!”

She was fine with my efforts, saying how her hands were stiff from the work she did in preparation for this party. And then she apologized for the appearance of her hands, indicating that she was somewhat embarrassed by what she saw as enlarged, arthritic knuckles.

“Your hands are gorgeous,” I told her. “They tell me everything I need to know about you and I would love to sketch them someday.” And that statement is true. Every word of it is true.

Her hands tell me just how strong she is. They tell me how independent she is, fiercely so. They also tell me she is fearless. She is each of those things and more.

Our lengthy friendship, which has deepened over recent years, has filled in the details. Highly intelligent, this woman committed herself to environmental efforts long before most of us heard the word. Recycling in our community and preserving our farm lands were introduced earlier here than many places, thanks to her vision and drive. Divorced years ago, she remains steadfast about living on her farm, engaging in the work needed to maintain its beauty. She is one of those women who sees a need and commits to fulfilling it.

I love being in the company of women. Rarely am I given the opportunity to spend time with women with no specific task or agenda needed to give us purpose. Even more rarely do I have an opportunity to spend time with women many of whom I have never met. Without exception, those occasions bring me a joyful sense of wonder: wonder in the strength and similarity we find simply as women.

Women, even complete strangers, can easily find common ground. Day-to-day our situations may vary but the concerns we carry and the conflicts we face are universal. The choices we must make throughout our lives, choices that affect all whom we love, allow us, when together, to quietly, thoughtfully, unite. And with that unity comes support.

It is tribal.

It is comforting.

It is joyful.

And it is peace, for the heart, the soul, the mind.