To Life

Recently and with my daughter – I went to see the second of the series of Sex and the City movies. Yes – I’d read the reviews. No – I wasn’t expecting anything intellectually stimulating. But – I was hoping to perhaps find a more evolved and matured version of these  four single women who I’d laughed with and at for so many years.

A softer one. A wiser one.A one that had weathered and greyed and rusted with a subdued and graceful patina. A version that I thought might mirror the image I have of myself as I – along with these women – have grown into themselves.

As I stopped to photograph these chairs gazing so longingly at the water’s edge..I began to imagine.

Four women.

A mother. A daughter. A sister. A wife.

Four friends.

Glasses raised in unison. A first toast to their past reflections. A second to the rest of their lives.

They met when they were still girls. Innocent. Naïve. Not knowing the adventures that  lay ahead nor what opportunities life had to offer. They dreamed big dreams. Together. They explored the  bright lights..the big cities. They travelled to distant and faraway lands and  tasted lives that were as tantalizing as they were exotic. Passed down from generations before them, they were well aware of its fragility, it’s unpredictability, how fleeting it can be. They carried their brave new world with great caution and care, gently in the palms of their hands. Theirs for the taking.

Once mere acquaintances and passers-by..they have grown into friends of the true heart. With time they’ve stretched and grown and mellowed. Life’s circumstances and experiences have taken each on their own individual paths and journeys. And yet – today – they sit. They celebrate. They reminisce. They share. And – of course – they dream. Because what would life be without ?

Four inseparable friends.

They know each other from the inside out. Better  - sometimes – than they know even themselves. Together. They have pushed and pulled each other thru the muck and mire. To one another they have been soft shoulders to lay their  weary heads ….warm open hearts to share and embrace ...stern and solemn warnings when the forecasted weather indicated that the seas might be too rough on which to set sail. They have been each other’s  silent supporters as well as their loudest of fans. They  have climbed un-climbable mountains.. crossed un-crossable oceans..and navigated the darkest of dark forests.  Together. Sturdy and reassuring and forever present. Strong in their collective strength. They have seen the eyes of the tigers and stared them down. They have celebrated unspeakable joy and mourned unbearable loss. They have danced together on the brightest of days..and held each other’s tears in the darkest of nights. They’ve celebrated triumphs and successes. They’ve mourned the failures – each as if it was their own.

To one another they’d  always turned, sharing their deepest and darkest of fears as well as their most magical of wild fantasies. They were safe. Secrets were kept sacred and whole. They trusted one another to be honest and forever true. To be the harshest of all critics without ever passing judgement. To offer a deep and unyielding acceptance for who they are and never for who they would never be. Their friendship was never unconditional, but always laced  with love.

They’ve watched..waited..and born witness to each other’s lives and their unfolding. Each in its own time and way. As each should. As each was meant to happen. Filled with unexpected twists and turns with many de-railings and surprises – both good and oftentimes bad. They were and are for each other - forever present..immovable pillars of fortitude and strength. When one jumped off their collective bed..the other three bounced until they all regained their precarious balance. When one took flight..the others buckled their seatbelts and settled in for the bumpy ride without ever asking where it was that they were going…or when they might arrive.

Filled with laughter and light…and tears…and a  joy and a comfort that only comes with knowing. Together. They have been there. They have done that. And they will be there for the future and whatever it holds.

Four women.

Four friends.

They fill their well-worn chairs and lift their glasses.

To friendship.