There is a freedom that is found when a woman travels in the company of women. That is not to say that being among women is a judgment-free zone, far from it, but the judgments we place are about who we are, not what we are. We may carp about the one who tries too hard to please or the one who takes too many selfies, but mostly, we talk about the ways we can help and support each other. We worry about the relationship that is toxic or the aging among us. Wordlessly, we reach with our many hands to help prepare group breakfasts. As a tribe, we slow steps to make sure no one of our number walks alone. We hold our complaining when the wind bites cold and we break into unscripted, silly song, laughing as girls, knowing is doesn’t matter that hair is windblown and clothes are muddy. We are free to be ourselves with others who feel the same.
It is a gift that one gives oneself. I heard someone say you can’t trust a woman who doesn’t have women friends, and although there is some part of me that rebels against sweeping statements, there is another part that recognizes the deep wisdom of those words.
I have had best friends who are men. I have good friends who are male, but it isn’t the same. I am sure that for men, they find a similar experience. Gender, I find is a common experience that bonds most closely. It provides a context that rises above mere words. It is a perspective that allows true empathy.
It is my best wish for all of you, that you, too, will find that circle of friends that allow you to refuel who you are, strong in the knowledge that you are among those who see you as their own.
And now, the chapter. My thanks to Ms Buffy, a woman I am honored to count among my circle. Congratulations to Gyllene (Harlow Layne), the creator of this story’s lovely banner, on releasing her first original work of fiction.