The trellis kept the desert sun at bay and provided a comfortable setting for lunch. Looking out over the beautiful manicured grounds I was filled with excitement. In a few moments I would be surrounded by three beautiful women I hadn’t seen in quite a while; one in about a year, two I hadn’t seen in three years! We only met 4 years ago but I felt as if they had surrounded me forever.
As I sipped my water I reflected on the impact these women had made in me and my life. We shared a bond from a trip together that cemented our souls together. I heard the sound of high heels, turned my head and saw Melissa coming toward me. I hopped out of my chair like a child on Christmas morning squealing with glee, and wrapped my arms around her!
Melissa was the first person I met and got to know in Italy four years ago. We shared a cab, and some laughs, from the Genoa airport to the beautiful quaint hotel we shared for a week. Our friendship was confirmed on that day when we attempted to explore the Passagiata and found ourselves unable to find the right door or the right key to get to the beautiful walkway that hugged the Ligurian coast. We laughed for what felt like an eternity that day, sipping our vodka and snacking on the traditional chips, nuts and olives at a local bar. I so missed her.
Susan and Jennifer arrived a few minutes later. I already felt better surrounded by these beauties. Each have a soul that feels pure and genuine. Each has a story underneath their facade that I got a glimpse of a few years ago. Our conversation flowed naturally and comfortably as if we lunched on a weekly basis. It took us over thirty minutes just to look at the menu and order.
Our time together in Italy was one of discovery. We were there together but each looking for something individually. Some of us knew we were searching for something, some realized it while we were there. What we may have underestimated was our need for soul sisters, and that happened quite quickly. Through travel, writing, photography, food and wine we bonded. We bonded over loves, some lost some sustained. We bonded over wants, some known and some not. We bonded over faith, some stronger than others. We bonded over vulnerability, some feeling too exposed, some not enough.
These women make my heart happy, my soul gets to relax and breathe with them. I have let my guard down with them, exposing my own frail ego and they never judged. They are soul sisters to me.
As we ended our three hour lunch and reunion we chatted about meeting in Chicago in the early fall. We were already excited about the prospect. Our mutual love and respect was so present it was palpable. My soul sisters. No matter the distance or time, we knew our care and love for each other was present. My smile still has not left my face!