1. The Power and The Pebble

It is a part of the nature of power to be subtle.  Power need not announce itself.  The sleek beauty of a finned bomb falling from the sky, the unseen buzz of electricity dangerous and wholesome, the still small voice of God to Elijah.  Power is not in the whirlwind and not in the fire.  It is, today, in the tiny pebble dropped into a still pool.

And so she falls, out of the womb and into the stream as a pebble.  As smoothe, hard rock cuts the water’s glassy surface rings instantly form, encircling the point of entry.  The tiny rings are surrounded by little rings and little rings by bigger rings and bigger rings by large rings.  The power of her birth and then her being reverberates until the rings reach the sides of the pool.   The closer rings are clearly visible, well defined, despite being small.  The large rings fade as they move out until only the eye of science follows them to shore.

It is in these rings encircling the woman that we find the beneficiaries of her love.

The closest circle to the pebble is small.  It is intimate, timeless.  In childhood they are her family, her parents and siblings and ever-present nurturers like God-mothers and aunts.  In adulthood they are still her family but others with no blood connection may have joined along the way.  A husband perhaps.  A best friend.  Members of this circle she loves as she loves herself.

Just outside are the friends that know her best.  Sandbox friends, college friends, girly friends, platonic husbands.  She may add a fiance.  Or a mentor.  This circle changes but infrequently.  One may come, one may go and the tone may change throughout her maturing.  But these are the friends she keeps few secrets from and loves with abandon.

Just outside is a wider circle of friends with a specialty.  No less a friend but in a specific context.  The friend from the gym she shares all things exercise with.  The friend from church she shares with on a spiritual level.  The friend from work.  The friend from the coffee shop.  The friend she goes out dancing with.  In a healthy woman boyfriends start here, fiances move into the second circle, and husbands are family.

Then there is the circle of her acquaintances.  Not people deep in her heart but occasional beneficiaries of her love.

The circles go on forever out to her work, her country, her world, the future.

But they start with the pebble.  The circles are formed around the shape of her love, her care, herself.  The pebble is the first circle.  For her to reach the shore of her stream first she must fall into the stream.  She must fall in love.  With herself.