I just returned from a wonderful college girlfriends weekend of reminiscing, sharing, empathizing and updating. Six of us were able to manage to getaway for the weekend and leave our willing and able husbands in charge of the 16 children we now have in our lives. When we all moved into the same house 23 years ago we could have never imagined the friendship we would develop that would last a lifetime. It’s funny how we can still feel like we are 20 year olds but the topic of conversation has changed from what classes we are signing up for or the new guy we are dating to college applications, high school and sports schedules for our children.
A few years ago I was watching Rachel Ray and saw her talking about a book that was released called The Necklace, Thirteen Women and the Experiment That Transformed Their Lives by Cheryl Jarvis.
In this book thirteen women purchased a diamond necklace together that they would each take turns having in their possession. Each woman got the necklace for a month at a time. On Rachel Ray she had a small group of women in New York try the same type of experiment with a necklace that they chose and they came on the show to talk about their experience with selecting the necklace and how it went sharing the jewelry. They would get together and discuss what had happened while the necklace was in their possession.
This got me to thinking about how I could do something like this with my college girlfriends. We try to get together once a year. We started out meeting at Christmas time when we were home visiting our families. We would go out to a restaurant and catch up on the previous year. We almost all had married our college boyfriends so it was fun to see everyone and talk about our newlywed lives and new careers. Then the babies started coming along so we moved our meeting locations to one of our parents homes so the kids could play while we visited. As the kids got a little older we would meet at one of our homes or a hotel in the summer for a reunion. As the kids got older, schedules got more difficult to manage and that is when the girls weekends began. Although it is a major accomplishment to have stayed in touch throughout all of these years, I wanted to do something else too to keep our bond strong.
So, what should we share? Given the fact that we are spread out over three states, we will need to mail the item. Hmmm…diamond necklaces are cool, but expensive. I knew it would have to be something else. This whole idea of mailing something between us got me to thinking about The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares.
Ok, really…we did share clothes in college but shipping a pair of pants around for a bunch of 30-40 year olds to share? I have pants in my own closet that sometimes I can wear, and sometimes I can’t. No, it’s not going to be pants. But, that is the concept. Along with the item we would share I would send a journal. In the journal we would write down things that happened during that month. We would also include a picture of each of us wearing the item. But what would the item be?
A third book came to mind as I was thinking about this project and it is one that I wanted to share with my friends. This is a book that my mother-in-law gave to me shortly after I got married. I have to admit, I read it and I didn’t really get it. I wasn’t ready to get it yet. I didn’t have enough life experience to get it yet. But now, as I have re-read the book several times, I get it. The book is Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh.
In this book she writes about the different stages of life and relates them to shells she discovers on her beach retreat alone. She was in the stage of life that we all are right now. Mothers with busy lives of maintaining our homes and raising our children and keeping up with their schedules. She was discovering who she is and where she fits in now and what her life has in store for her as the seasons of life change. I could now relate to the book since I have passed through and entered into the season of life she was experiencing. I highly recommend this book for mothers! Not only is the beach my retreat as well, she so eloquently describes her experiences and the feeling that she needs to simplify her life once she returns home. I think that is one of the most fabulous things about the beach. The simple joy of listening to the water, looking for shells, feeling the warm sand beneath your feet. Time at the beach is relaxing and rejuvenating all at the same time. She took the shells she collected, related them to the stages of life and then took the shells home with her to not only remind her of her time at the beach but also of how precious and unique each stage of our lives are. This is why I wanted to share this book with my friends. They have been with me through so many stages of life. We share and relate to each other and support each other no matter what we are facing. That is when it came to me. We would share a bracelet that I had fallen in love with when I saw it.
So I guess we have come up with The Sisterhood of the Traveling Gift from the Sea Bracelet. This is symbolic of our friendship and of all of the support we have given each other in the past. It represents the bond we share that we will use to support each other through joyful moments as well as trying moments any of us experience. This was my Knotical Inspiration with my friends. I hope it inspires you to keep in touch with those you love in a special way! Thanks to my friends for all of the love and support throughout the years! I hope you continue to enjoy the bracelet! Also, thanks for always making me feel like a 20 year old again when we are together!