The other night I found myself looking around the room at a group of wonderful women who I am blessed to call friends (minus some faces who were not able to be there physically but were very much present in our thoughts). As I sat there, in what was hopefully the first of many such gatherings, I contemplated what it would be like to travel through life together as a group of friends. In fact, we have already travelled a great deal together. All four of us in the room that evening have had the same job, albeit at different times: we have all cooked on a SALTS ship. We have also all sailed with each other, though, again, not all at the same time. There is a special bond that sailors, past and present, share and this common experience has bonded us more than I think I (we?) realized before the other night.
The idea was planted at a recent birthday celebration when someone innocently suggested that we should do this more often. When you have friends, who needs a reason to get together? What has evolved in just a short time is a place where we are not afraid to share what is really going on in our hearts and lives and where we can trust each other enough to help, in love, to think through the very real issues we face. It is a place where we can draw on each other’s experiences learn from each other’s journeys. It is a place of love, trust, fellowship, and safety. It is Community. I am happy to belong.