I used to read articles about finding your “tribe” and I would read blogs by women who were surrounded by other creative artistic souls. It seemed mysterious to me. I had a best friend and I had other women friends but I couldn't get the "tribe thing" and I'll admit I was a bit jealous and intrigued. Where were these women who rallied around each other, who had so much in common and who asked the hard questions to each other. The women who were spiritually alive and full of life and passion?
My life was full it seemed. I had all that I needed. My days were full of babies and PBS. Occasionally I was able to read a short fiction book and it was all enough in those moments.
And then, slowly, gracefully, steadily, these women started to trickle into my life. They showed up when I least expected it and in the most inexplicable ways. It was like they were being called from the corners of the globe into my life and I was being pulled into theirs. It was as if it came from a force outside of all that made sense. Seemingly, I woke up one day and there was a tribe. I couldn't have created it, I couldn't have wished for it to be any better than it was. Each woman finely picked, complimenting who I was, encouraging me to reach for more, challenging me to let things go, and cheering me to go deeper into who I was, who I am.
One of things on my list for the year was to skinny dip. I'd made naked snow angels but never skinny dipped. It had just never happened and I was ready. I had planned to do it all alone in the dark because that seemed...bold easy. And then shortly after my birthday rolled around I realized I was surrounded by two women from the tribe. Two women who were sexy and strong in their own skin and whom I loved to be around. Two women who joined me in the Guadalupe River at sun set on a January afternoon. I emerged feeling stronger and more beautiful than I had in a long time. Two women who live far away geographically but are still surrounding me.
I believe in the power of being alone. I am an introvert at heart. I believe in loving and knowing yourself enough to carry you through the moments of darkness. I believe those are the moments that you are bare and raw and where you learn the most. However, there is power in a tribe that can't be explained. It's like souls uniting outside of their bodies and then being linked wherever they go.
This tribe of mine looks like no one else's. These women are each full of fire and zest, some are calm and some are all about the loud. Some of them I have never met in person. But I look forward to the day that I sit around a table with all of them, a day where they become parts of each other.
It's hard to remember a time when I didn't know them each but when I look around into the corners of my life, it seems like they were always there.
And for that I am thankful.