I’m having a birthday bonfire, I texted Julz, I know you can’t come, so why don’t we get tea or something.
Julz has a lung disease which makes her not able to sit around any kind of fire. But I still wanted to celebrate with her. My birthday is the 28th of January and hers February. “There must be something to that” I texted.
Without a moments hesitation Julz suggested a Tea Party at her house.
I was all in. Julz is a wonderfully creative cook, but still I wasn’t prepared for all the homemade finger sandwiches, desserts and the elegant table setting.
“Did you notice,” she asked Kat and me, “that the fork and spoon is on the right side of the plate not the left?”
I hadn’t noticed because I have no idea what side of the plate a fork is supposed to be on. We didn’t even use a fork. But I loved that Julz was so into the Tea Party, that she knew.
Julz invited our friend Kat to the Tea Party too. Kat who introduced me to Bellydancing and has been dancing with Julz for 20 years. Julz who never gave up on me when I first started dancing and couldn’t even step on the beat.
Nelly, Julz’s French Bulldog was there too. Ever since Julz suggested the tea party, I pictured Nelly, dressed in pink, sitting at the table with us.
That didn’t happen but Nelly won my heart when she jumped up on my lap and made dreamy faces as I scratched her back.
Julz and I don’t get together socially much. But we have been dancing together every week for the past six and a half years. She is convinced we danced together in past lives. She has a feeling that when she is teaching me to dance, she’s really just reminding me.
Sometimes I feel like the idea of past lives is something us humans made up to help us feel better about dying. But other times it makes perfect sense to me.
My friendship with Julz and my learning to bellydance is easier for me to understand when I think of it in terms of past lives.
It’s possible for me to see Julz and my friendship evolving from the difficulties in each of our childhoods. We are to each other the sister we didn’t have. But the dancing… I’ll never understand how I came to be a Bellydancer.
I still can’t make sense of it.
I stopped at the florist in town before going to the Tea Party and there on the counter was a teacup and saucer filled with pink and lavender flowers.
When I was a teenager I rejected everything pink and girly. It was when I was in my thirties, getting my MFA , that I began to embrace Pink. Both the color and what it stood for. Reclaiming the power of being a girl and ultimately a woman.
In the past, women gathering together was often seen as a threat, mostly by men. Enough of a threat that they might be accused of being witches.
Yesterday at the our Tea Party, Julz, Kat and me could just as easily have been standing over a boiling cauldron stirring and stirring. Instead we were stirring our tea with the spoon from the right side of the plate.
(You can read about The Tea Party on Julz’s blog here. )