The cheery warmth of yellow blaze enveloped me from head to toe, me lounging in dimly lit room, surrounded by people I love. Somewhere outside, snow falling softly, blanketing the drabby green-brown of early winter in pure whiteness.
The night is quiet and calm, strangely serene in the face of the forthcoming, imminent good-bye. The moment raptured to holiness as I gaze on each face framed with the golden shadows glowing from the hearth light.
One last time we talk and what is it about the evening that feels so awe-inspiring holy? My heart captivated with the beauty of their words and their hearts, my mind remembering, rewinding through weeks and months of fellowship with these women. Women. When my dream came true and unfolded, when I started “Girls’ Group”, an idea birthed from vision, they were impulsive girls. And in the blink of an eye, two years passing, they emerge as women with bleeding, dreaming, reaching, conquering hearts.
We share, one last time as the formal “Girls Group”. We’d gone camping, climbed township dirt dunes to slide down them (discovering later that wasn’t allowed), danced the hokey-pokey, picnicked in the park, tubed down the Clarion River, rode horses together, hiked hills and towers, prayed and cried and shared and laughed.
We lived, breathed, dreamed, and made memories: together. And I love each girl – each woman – as if she were my own daughter. “You’re the daughters of my heart!” I’ve told them countless times. The feelings of change and good-bye are raw, cutting deep, but the moment is holy, full and whole with togetherness and kindredness and friendship and love. And I pray one last time, that these girls would continue to know their Father in heaven as their own.
One last time they bless me, offering gifts of gratitude – tokens of love.
And I go home in the slowly falling snow, feeling and breathing the sacredness of a holy night.