The Company of Women

This is dedicated to the circle of women in my life, my friends and teachers. You know who you are, and I hope you know you have my deepest gratitude for your presence in my life. With heartfelt love! Elle

When I was a young woman I eschewed the company of women in favor of the company of men. When I reached thirty I began to cultivate more friendships with women; and fortunately, I soon came to fully understand what I had been missing.

Last week while visiting Arizona I had lunch with a long-time friend, one of the original arcs in our circle of friends, and it made me think about how we all came together. Years ago we named ourselves “The Arcs” because we are each an arc, each an integral part of our circle of friendship. Over the years our circle has widened as it has welcomed new arcs, and has grown immensely.

Originally we came together to read, study, interpret, and discuss many books of a spiritual nature. Now, for the most part, we get together for the occasional lunch, to celebrate a milestone in someone’s life, or for an annual weekend retreat in the woods. However, we all know we are only a phone call away from compassionate love and support if we are in need of it.

We have many things in common, but there are three things that brought us together and hold us together after all this time. The first is that we are all seekers… of spirit, truth, beauty, meaning, and enlightenment….the second is that we lovingly share these things whenever and wherever we find them. We are all Bodhisattvas. The third is that we believe ourselves to be strong Grown-Ass Women. However, some of us didn’t always feel that way. We grew into it with the love and support of our friends!
We were there for each other while still working and trying to keep family, body, and soul together after long and sometimes difficult days at work.

We helped each other find our way through the grief and sadness of losing loved ones to death, tragedy, or divorce. Some paths of grief have led to advocacy for causes, and others have led to a quiet acceptance and grace. They have all led to growth.

We encouraged each other to shake off the dust from a dream taken from the closet of unfulfilled dreams we all carry around in our heart, and make it shine, no matter how long it might take.

We still live our lives walking together… sometimes moving ahead…sometimes falling behind…and then hurrying to catch up and walk together again for a while. As we walk we each bring our own personal light, and together we illuminate our path more brightly.

I feel so honored to be an “arc” in this circle of strong, beautiful friends…each one writing her own personal story in life, sharing it with others, inspiring them to write their own story with strength and beauty… and I wish every woman could find what I have found in the sacred company of women.

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