a bigger story of belonging

by | Apr 12, 2021

Rosa and DelilaSome people come into our lives and stay a little while, others pass through very quickly. Then there are those who come in and put down roots in our hearts that, regardless of distance or time, anchor us to a bigger story of belonging.

A few months before graduating from Montessori training, in 1988, I travelled to Texas during Spring Break to interview for a teaching job I had no intention of accepting. That trip, which I regarded as a lark, profoundly changed the course of my life. During my school tour I met Rosa. We locked eyes, exchanged silly facial expressions, and simultaneously burst into the first of many uproarious laughs we would share.

Later the same week, I met the man who would become the father of my son and my partner for more than a decade. And a few months later, I found myself building a new life in Oak Cliff, a suburb of Dallas, thousands of miles from my Oregon friends and kin.

Rosa and I became fast friends; her house felt like home. Most of what I know about parenting, I learned by observing her with her two young sons. She demonstrated the necessity of nurturing one’s own creative and spiritual life while raising children, and she taught me where to find drinkable box wine (standards were lower in the 80’s). We traded clothing and trinkets and secrets, and we shared ritual and ceremony.

Following that year of close kinship, despite only having been in the same physical place at the same time on a few occasions, our souls connection has only grown stronger. Rosa is more than a friend, she is my kin. Fast forward 33 years, today I opened my mailbox to find this beautiful piece of art, a portrait that honors both my kinship with Fred the Monarch and my indelible bond with my soul sister, Rosa. I am blessed.

Book cover of Delila's Fred the Monarch