Recently, I had to step away from “the porch” for a while. The loss of a dear family friend, some unexpected travel, the desire to savor the end of summer with my kiddos… life got a little messy and something had to give.
I skipped my Wednesday blogpost for the first time since joining Southern Belle View more than two years ago, and I haven’t been participating in the daily chats, as I have always loved to do.
So, yesterday morning, with my children off for the new school year, I pulled out my LONG to-do list in hopes of catching up on all the things I’ve let slide.
I skimmed the bullets until I reached Southern Belle View, and then I skipped as quickly as possible right back to our little front porch. There, waiting for me to find my way home again, were a series of beautiful posts from the belles.
But unlike my other visits to our porch, yesterday was different. For the first time, I saw this blog from our readers’ eyes.
I spent an hour or two laughing, crying, laughing some more and feeling both inspired and encouraged by these amazing, strong, talented, beautiful, brilliant women. Their words and their wisdom healed me, and I felt as though I had all of these dear friends right here in my life with me.
Becoming an author has brought many wonderful blessings into my life, but by far… the best part of my writing life are the friends who have entered on account of it.
I realize now, I may have been taking my role as a “southern belle” for granted. Drafting regular blogposts in addition to novel deadlines, edits, freelance contracts, and other responsibilities can sometimes bring a last minute “oops, I forgot about SBV!” kind of post. We’ve all been there. And we thank you for sticking with us through those thin spaces.
But now, unlike ever before, I realize the importance of this cyberporch. I know, if I came here yesterday morning, heart heavy, soul bruised, spirit a well of complex emotions, faith a little out of sorts, then someone else did too.
I arrived hurting, and I left healing. And that is, as my Choctaw friends say, “good medicine.”
Lisa, Kellie, Jolina, Denise, Amy, Rachel, Eva, Shellie, and Nicole — Thank you.
Thank you for living your lives with such open, humble, honest hearts. Thank you for using your talents behind the pen to shape spirits. Thank you for gifting us with your words, your stories, your lessons, your lives.
Thank you for granting me the privilege to call you my friends, and thank you for calling me one of your own.
Most of all, thank you for providing this sacred space, where lost or lonely or lovely souls can gather, where each of us can return at any time… knowing… there will always be someone on the porch, welcoming us home.