“Everyone is necessarily the hero of his own life story.” John Barth
I smiled at the email titled “Amtrak Faith.” It was from a woman I met on the train ride home from Montana. She had cool hair—with streaks of apricot- golds and reds. When I commented on it, she told me it was an intentional protest--her idea about what becoming a grandmother should look like. I smiled, knowing the battle cry of the woman who was too young to be perceived as older. I got it. She wasn’t about to go quietly into that role and I frankly, could never picture her in a rocking chair--not even at ninety.
She told me how she once took a retreat from a women’s retreat. I laughed outloud. Instead, Amtrak Faith called her husband and told him she and her sister were leaving the retreat, but weren’t coming home. They checked into a swanky hotel downtown and shopped till they dropped. No scrapbooking or makeup tips for this grandma.
I liked that and her. We compared notes about our daughters and grinding our teeth, in that order. We talked about what we learned along the way. It was as if we both had some similar steps and the meal we shared confirmed that we were sisters in many ways. It was unexpected gift, an affirmation that I have a tribe, a pack and that they are everywhere—even on trains.
RUN LIKE A GIRL is an invitation to life. And lately I have realized it is bringing my pack to me, one woman at a time. They are gutsy, independent women who have a style and a confidence hard won. They all have SHE-roe stories, of raising children, finding their grooves and negotiating gravity. They all know one indisputable secret—without God, they would be dead in one way or another. And because of this, they are optimists that they will survive—always.
So to all of you who have contacted me and written what this little book means to you, Thank You. The book is for you—a tribute to what I know is true in all women. I had hoped you would find your way into its pages and that you would re-discover your girl spirit. I knew I could count on it to remind you just how amazing you are. What I didn’t count on were all the new friends I would make along the way. You inspire me to do better, work harder and keep knocking on doors. Thank you for that
So Amtrak Faith, Susie, Charlene, Angie, Rachel -- it is so on! I will be offering some Run Like a Girl retreats this year—I promise there won’t be makeup tips or beading. Is it a deal?