Friday, September 15, 2006

Part of the Village. . .

I knew that she was my “sister of the soul” almost immediately; that feeling of comfort, familiarity and “rightness” about her. My soul reached out immediately to hers and we became fast friends that have lasted now for almost 13 years. She is my sister from another mother, family of another blood that makes these kinds of connections even stronger.

I have learned so much from her on the pagan path of my life, but I’ve also learned about myself, who I am and what I’m about. She has challenged me on about every level I live on. That’s what a sister of the soul does you know. They aren’t there to just say nice things, they are there to sometimes tell you the really hard things, the things that impact you in ways you would rather avoid and that make you face reality and some of the places that you hope to never visit again.

I have also shared some of the best times of my life with her (she knows what times I’m talking about!). Many of those times I can’t write about, but let’s just say that they involved starry nights and adventure. They are forever written in my heart with indelible ink and will always bring me joy. . . and laughter. The kind that makes you laugh so hard tears stream from you eyes and make your sides hurt Silly, probably even a little stupid were those times, but they were the best.

One of the aspects of her I love the most is her role of mother. Her daughter is 12 now, a beautiful young woman who seems to blossom a bit more every time I see her. Mama bear is fiercely protective of her cub, which is as it should be and which necessity made her be.

Those were the times I helped her through, the dark days and months that slipped slowly and painfully into years of devastation, when you are challenged by things you can’t really conceive of before they happen. I never really saw her falter during those times. Slip a little occasionally maybe, but she always picked herself up and went back to her path, getting though those tough times and school with very little help. I admired her patience and the deftness with which she handled everyday life as a single parent, the thought and care she put into her parenting.

But she did have a village with her, around her. Aunties stepped in when needed, sometimes comforting her and sometimes the little one. Our roles varied as the circumstances dictated, but we always shared in the joy of watching the little one grow and learn new things. When she took her first steps I felt as proud as her mama did!

Recently my friend Moonchild ran into mama bear and her daughter and called me after the encounter. She told me how beautiful my friends daughter is, what a wonderful spirit she has and how much power emanates from her. And it’s true, someday the young one will be very powerful, and she luckily has the best mother in the world to help her channel that power into positive endeavors.

When Moonchild told me these things about the young one, I found myself sort of puffing up with pride. I laughingly realized how much I was taking credit for this wonderful young woman and how silly that was. But then again, I AM part of the village. . .

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