"We are all wanderers on this earth...our hearts are full of wonder, and our souls are deep with dreams." ~ Gypsy proverb

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Tribe

On seven fingers I can count them, the women in my life that I would consider my tribe. My mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother-- the matriarchs, the women who provide the solid wall of rock that support me in whatever I do, whatever I choose, even if that means separating them from their grandchildren and their great-grandchildren, and the grandchildren from their cousins.

“Where we love is home, home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.” -Oliver Wendell Holmes

The four other women, one here, and three spread out across this country, are my friends and my soul sisters, one's who everyday have remained present in heart and mind no matter what circumstances have come our way, ones that I wish with eyes squeezed shut and whispers to the wind that I could spend more time with. Soon, all seven will be out of physical reach for me, and such things as skype, facetime, and maybe now even facebook, will be my virtual lifeline. I am learning that I am not the loner I once thought myself to be. The older I become, the greater my need for strong, lasting female friendships, a tribe that I can call my own, where if I have to fall, I trust emphatically that loving and faithful hands will catch me. How important for all of us to be those hands, as well as have such hands, hands that extend through time, space, mud and magic.

“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think, but the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. i'll always be with you. ~A.A. Milne (Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh)

And I have not forgotten about our online tribe. I have not forgotten the adoration, respect, and mutual enjoyment we receive from each other's thoughts, words, and photos. Being in each other's spaces is a still another form of opening our hands, lending our ears, and extending our hearts. We urge each forward in progress, in process, to grow, to grieve, to purge, to proclaim, and to reclaim ourselves. Yes, there is a tribe here, and I proudly call you a soul sister (brothers, too :).


Update: Packing is nearly finished, though looking around here it doesn't feel like progress has been made, lol. I am still battling what to leave and what to take. Wouldn't you consider a sewing machine, crockpot, rice cooker, and blender essential items to bring? I keep telling Hubs that they are just as important as the computers. He doesn't argue about the espresso machine though :). Maybe we can find another spot for the rats--on the roof of the car, maybe?

Keep smiling...


  1. I know how you feel leaving all your family. I hope skype fills in the gaps. And yes, all of your essentials are must pack items (to me)!

  2. How wonderful that we all belong to this great tribe! I think it's a wonderful one to belong to and I am honored!

    I can understand the packing thing and if that's all you have then Wow to you, you're amazing [and yes, all those things are vital to make it through the day]!

    I love the top picture, what a beautiful group of women you are!

  3. What a wonderful thing you have here. What a strong group of women to have around you. I am so in love with this tribe I have found on line.
    Good luck with the packing, such a big adventure.

  4. You are lucky to love & be loved by such a tight bunch.

  5. love you too sweetie. : )
    hey- here's a thought: do you love those items you mention (blender, sewing machine, etc...?)
    My mom bought me my rad sewing machine second hand. I would never leave it.
    My blender is a really good one and I waited years to get it...
    if you can replace easily and happily, then leave them. If not, what's one more box in the storage room or on the moving truck?

  6. Getting closer! I didn't have a little tribe of my own until I moved to Boulder. Sadly, the place couldn't hold me, even though the women still do. I can not begin to tell you how happy it makes me to imagine you coming alongside those women that I love and miss so much! They are waiting for you with big hearts and open arms. :-) Oh, and if it were me, I'd take the rice cooker and sewing machine.

  7. I love knowing that I get to be part of your on-line tribe and that you are part of mine. I'm discovering how important being part of each others' spaces is to me...

    Your reflection shows how much you are emotionally and mentally preparing for this next part of your life. I am happy for you and continue to support you as you make this important move.

    I say sewing machine yes...the others can always be bought again, but a sewing machine is like a friend whose quirks you know and love!

  8. for all the faults of technology, it allows us our connectedness. isn't that something.

    it's good those women of yours understand. we'll be leaving here in the next year. i'm proud that my mother understands. it shows great strength.


  9. You know, I am really excited for you and your family. What a wonderful adventure awaits you all. I certainly deem a crockpot and a rice cooker essential. They will be necessary for those days when you are out exploring your new surroundings and won't have time to spend hours preparing meals. I'm sure the ratties will be happy to perch on someone's shoulder! As for your tribe, they will always be with you, no matter where you reside. Jacinta xx

  10. This is beautiful. Thank you, my soul sister ;)

    These words: "I am learning that I am not the loner I once thought myself to be. The older I become, the greater my need for strong, lasting female friendships..." really resonate with me. I always thought myself independent, and never really valued strong female friendship, but the more time goes on, the more I realize what a better person I am for the few special women in my life. And that goes for my online tribe as well!

    So glad to hear the packing is nearly complete! I can definitely agree on the essential nature of the items you listed, though the espresso machine would be top of my list among them, too ;)

  11. Our tribes are so important to our well being. Proud to be called a member of yours. Packing is no fun!!! But the unpacking is wonderful!!!! Hugs-----

  12. MJ - again your word are filled with warmth and kindness - illustrated here so beautifully in your celebrations of tribe, connection, sisterhood and family!
    Those who have an active part in your life are very blessed!

  13. Such a wonderful post MJ.
    How blessed you are to have your "matriarchs".
    Your quotes from Oscar Wilde and one of my all time favorites, A.A. Milne were exactly the things I needed to drink in and absorb. My husband and I are at such a cross roads right now...not knowing if we move a couple towns over or states south once our house goes the market in the spring. Best of luck on all that packing and negotiating with your husband. BTW, in response to your "i wish i had your energy" comment. It's not superior energy believe me...just pools of sporadic insane determination spilling over as I clean out cluttered piles!


“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
~ George Bernard Shaw