Love Encircling

On a sunny day in June, I was blue.

I planned on relaxing to the music, picnicking to it, flirting a little to it. I planned to be entertained by laughing children, wild dancers, hoola hoopers and volleyball players. I planned to soak it all up along with the sunshine –  and the radiant energy of the masses of music lovers in the grass around me.  For all that planning… as the band began… I found myself sitting solo, stressed, hungry for understanding, fighting tears, drowning in a bit of self-pity. The children, the dancers, the hoola hoopers and volleyball players… the radiant energy of the masses of music lovers in the grass around me… suddenly heartbreaking.

Everything was there – everything I expected…. except my love.

Standing tall and straight, shoulders back, chin up. Having determined a handful of heartbreaks ago that I would not be the victim of my own sorrow, I packed my picnic blanket and chair, my book and a light snack and my dog, and I headed to the park. Knowing things wouldn’t be as planned – but opting to simply let things be.  I had already decided that I was going to revel in Jazz at the Park this season. The demise of my love dream wasn’t going to diminish my summer sunset ambition!

and so I went, and I sat.

Within moments a lovely couple perched their chairs next to me. She smiled a lovely smile. I smiled back. She began unpacking her picnic fixin’s and before long another woman appeared. The first woman reached over and took my dogs leash from me without saying a word. She led my dog to her feet and began rubbing her head. I took that as a cue to focus on the book I was reading. She held my pooch, I read a few pages. Moments later she handed my dog back, smiled and then another woman arrived and joined her party, and then another and another. Then there were children. Then there was more food, then there was wine. They were chatting and making room and more and more people arrived. They were laughing – they must have been related… they were all beautiful. They were all (or nearly all) brown.   

* I do understand what a ridiculous point that is – except when you’re a brown girl who in 38 years has never had the pleasure of sitting next to a group of beautiful brown women – in which case, it’s more than worth mentioning.

I’m sitting, noticing all the fantastic happenings beside me and I’m talking to God and telling him how wonderful it would have been if my life had taken such a turn. If in the course of all the friends I’d made, or if based on all the family I had, a group of them would have been available to gather at the park and picnic with me. I thanked God that I had the courage to be at the park alone and that I had the strength to smile toward them instead of with them, and that I had the grace to appreciate rather than begrudge the love among them.

and then… she turned to me and said, “would you like some guacamole?”

1st – Amen! Praise God, the lifter of my head, my ever-present help, my joy, the light of my life! 2nd, Yes, I’d love some guacamole, and yes, I would love a glass of wine, and hello, what’s your name, and hello, how do you all know each other? An hour later, I’ve met more woman than I can remember the names of. The music is ending and everyone is packing up to go home. I’m expressing my gratitude for the inclusion in the days gathering and the statement is clearly made…. “Join Us”. These beautiful women invite me to join them again the following week.

and I do.

I join them the following week, and the week following that, and every week from mid-June through early August. I join them at the park for Jazz and picnics and I join them for happy hours and rooftop soiree’s. I join them in tales of family, and friends, and relationships, and faith. They are many, and the more invitations I accept, the more woman appear and the more beautiful they all become.  They say, “Welcome to The Circle”, I say, “Praise God”.  This lovely circle was a bandage that healed my wounded spirit.

I thought I needed a “him” to make me feel complete, He knew I needed some “them” to realize what I had been missing.

A circle of women who embrace,  inspire, encourage, uplift, understand, appreciate and crack me up…

yes Lord, Thank you Lord! Thank you Ladies – more than you know!

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4 Comments to “Love Encircling”

  1. OMG! You know this made me cry–with tears of joy and appreciation. I am so grateful you took that brave step to come “solo” and engage with us to become a part of our circle!! We are all so blessed & lucky!

  2. OMG!!! I agree was tearing up just reading it!! I remember that day very well. Your description of it took me back!!! There was a plan for you that day!!!! xoxoxoxox

    • Yes ma’am – a definite plan! and you.. the first spectacular beauty to arrive… you said “I brought guacamole too, but I forgot chips” – HA! looking back, absolutely nothing was forgotten! MWAH!

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