My Canadian Girlfriends


It took me awhile to find true girlfriends. Pockets of them reside in Santa Barbara and South Africa with some in Kenya. But the ones that get me from the surface of my white skin to the deep of my writer soul are clustered in westside of Canada. Who knew!

I flew into Vancouver on a clear blue-skied day. Idelette met me curbside. She got out of the convertible so she could embrace me from the crown of my greying head to the tips of my peep-toed shoes. This girl knows how to embody welcome

The next morning we pulled up to Tina’s home – larger and more colorful than I imagined. She popped out the door and into my arms, squeezing and swaying and smiling. Hard to believe we were last together in Burundi. Again we are criss-crossing countries to stand close and take in real presence. 

I would have to wait until the third day to swing open the door and find Sarah on the porch with arms full of peaches, baguettes and sausages (true story). Setting eyes on her again tasted of resurrection, our proximity allowing us to touch again. We hugged hard despite all the goodies already in her arms.

We collided in the kitchen, purses and produce plopped on the counter so we could get a better look at each other. Soon champagne glasses were out and sparkling cider poured to we could toast to Sarah’s two-book deal. Tina stood on a bright green stool to get a good picture of the moment, then instructed me to step up and see from that point of view. Feet on the ground or head in the clouds, I could already sense the Spirit moving at liberty among us.

I’ve been with women when I felt I had to maneuver around them. I had to check my mirrors and navigate with care around the shared space, careful to stay in my lane. But with these girlfriends I was free to crash into them with abandon. Never mind my problem with depth-perception, here we could collide enjoying closeness, conversation, celebration and drop all guise of political correctness. To be so free in their company did my heart good.

Idelette, with her future-eyes and South African lilt, called my writing self out gently many months ago. She remained faithful is shaping a space where I could test my words and my courage. Tina cheered every piece I wrote, she spoke of my writing as if I were a rock star in her eyes. Then came Sarah with marching orders, telling me I was ready and needed to get to work. Her voice rich with confidence as if each instruction said ‘I believe in you.

No need for an airbag here. Crashing into the company of these girlfriends has only wrecked my self-doubt. Our blessed collision broke open something deep that I still don’t have strong enough words to express. But knowing they are with me, that they believe in me is catalytic. Hooray for Canada!

*** All photos by the talented and beloved Tina Francis. (She is the only person who takes pictures of me and really sees me.)

Read more about our time together in the words of Sarah Bessey – no one could say it better!


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2 thoughts on “My Canadian Girlfriends”

  1. Stephanie
     ·  Reply

    wowie. you are all sooo gorgeous.

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