Yesterday I posted this photo to some friends along with this comment,
‘this time last year I was with these wonderful women in California…they’d planned a weekend get together when they knew I was coming, and travelled a long way to be there. There were other chairs, but it seems we all just wanted to be on the bench together…. I think I’m going to have to write about this. About how it’s worth taking risks in friendships. About how soul mates are out there. About how the warmth of a welcome can still leave a glow well past the meeting. About what it is to be seen and known and loved. .’
It was a blind date on a big scale. I’d never met any of those women before that weekend, but when they heard that I was going to be in the same continent as them for a weekend in November, they’d travelled across the states in order for us to meet. We’d originally met online in a Lent group. I wanted to mark the season of Lent, leading up to Easter, but at the time was without a church community where I could do that, so I signed up for a course that I found out about through Twitter. I’d never done anything like that before and I had no idea what to expect.
In those weeks of reflection and preparation we gathered – a group of disparate women from across the globe and we grew together. We learned and shared, wept and laughed and I’m pretty sure each of us began to feel just a little bit more ok about being the people we were. Many of that first group moved in to an online writing community and some to a photography collective. I was in both. We talked about :seeing: where our hearts and souls were attentive, not just our eyes.
I discovered a passion for writing and for images, and as I took my first tentative steps to sharing my newly discovered art, these women were my cheerleaders.
So when we met that weekend in November 2014 it was like being with the people I’d always known and loved. B hosted us, and gave up her bedroom for me to sleep in. We ate a Thanksgiving feast that she had prepared and the talking didn’t stop ; 2am saw us scattered on sofas still talking. Sunday we washed all the dishes from the day before ( still talking), before sharing brunch at a restaurant, visiting a winery and then sitting with tea in a sunshiny backyard.
That’s when I found the stone.
Buried under some autumn leaves it had a message for me,
Yesterday I shared the photo of the stone on instagram and it seemed to resonate with people. I think it’s because we need to know that we are enough. Not good enough, or hard working enough, or kind enough, or funny enough, or beautiful enough. Just enough. That every bit of us is the right amount. Enough is the portion that satisfies. Enough isn’t a limit – it’s all that we need.
As I reflected I realised that the women in the photograph and a number of others have been the people who’ve enabled me to believe that I am enough. And I hope that through my friendships those who I come into relationship with will also know that they are enough.
So today, in this week leading up to Thanksgiving, I am so thankful for beautiful friendships, and paths leading to new places, and a stone I found under some leaves.