Friday, May 29, 2015
Our peeling skins: on friendship and the Everlasting
I'm drawn to them as I am to birch trees with their peeling skins, this handful of women in my life.
These ones whose roots are mostly hidden deep under the earth, in love's sacred soil, and in part, erupting above ground where feet can tread their coiled arches.
These ones who have drunk the sky's tears to the dregs, tasted the abundance of grace, and who have waited, are waiting still, in months and years of drought.
These ones who have known the battering of winds, the pelting of rain, the tearing of branches, the toll of seasons, and still remain.
Their skins map lives of varied, exquisite textures. Gnarled knots, beauty marks of pain, of loss, of heartache, full of mysteries untold. Strips of bark, peeling back in layer upon layer of weathered parchment, reveal stories in scripts of flesh, falling to the earth. These layers exposed leave behind silken spaces, of soul and courage, open to the elements of life.
How I love their scars, their invitations to pause. To behold. To trace the rough and smooth with my fingers and linger in the presence of redemption-in-the-making.
They are reaching toward the sun and tucking into shadowed places. Straight-backed in parts, bent and twisted in others. They give birth to leaves and buds, shelter to birds and all manner of creatures, and spread their arms out to me.
I come as I am to these women and I am known and loved in all my bare and peeling skin. We read each others' fallen parchments in holy hush, with tears and fits of laughter, without judgment. We gently hold up the broken branches and call out the beauty of scars and, at the end of the day, stand a bit stronger in the darkening night.
These women, as these trees, carry the scent of the Everlasting.