Proud Flesh

My friend let me use her computer this weekend.  What a blessing to me.  I am surrounded by great neighbors, some who don’t necessarily live right next door.  When I was at my writing conference in North Carolina last week, I met two brilliant women from Lino Lakes – exactly seven miles from my home.  I traveled half way across our country and met these incredible women who welcomed me like a life-long friend. 

One afternoon at the conference one of the ladies handed me a quote she had found in a magazine earlier that day.  With tears in her eyes she read to me the excerpt from the book "For What Binds Us" by Jane Hirshfield.  It read, "…see how the flesh grows back across a wound, with a great vehemence, more strong than the simple, untested surface before.  There’s a name for it on horses, when it comes back darker and raised: proud flesh, as all flesh is proud of its wounds, wears them as honors given out after battle, small triumphs pinned to the chest-"

One of the best things about meeting my new friends was how they embraced my story and accepted me as I was.  They expressed to me how I gave them hope, where in return I knew clearly they were offering me the dear gift of true friendship.  It is always a comfort when someone "gets you" and likes you all the same.  It felt so good to "be got" – so good to be understood – so good to be heard – so good to be liked.  I didn’t need to change a thing.  All they asked of me was to proudly live the life I have been asked to live.  And surprisingly more if they could walk along with me. 

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