We’re walking into church with a group of latecomers when she calls my name and I turn around startled. She is a familiar face in the crowd, but one I have only known in casual conversation at crowded dinner parties.

She admits reading an early blog post I wrote after our family trip to Washington, DC and how it resonates with her. The way I find inspiration in travelling to new places. How architecture and new faces open doors to rooms in my mind that seem locked in the mundane smallness of every day. She asks me to meet her for coffee to talk more.

That random story, it starts a new friendship. We find out, after a few brisk walks and pushing toes into sand, that we have more in common than just our need for inspiration and broad perspective.

Our solo life intersects with community through shared experiences; that comfortable middle seat of common on the row of diversity. Like the time I led a women’s retreat tucked away with the birds.  

I walk down the hall of the retreat center with a girlfriend when we notice the Brighton purse on the shoulder of a petite blond woman with big blue eyes. It pulls us over to her like a magnet. And after we tell her how much we like her purse, she tells us about how she is new to the area and doesn’t know anyone. It’s why she came to the retreat. To meet people.

I didn’t know then, that a Brighton purse would lead me to my best, most cherished friend of sixteen years now.  

My husband and I leave today for England and Scotland to celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary.  Led  there because of family history, a castle that stands in the North of England where relatives still reside . . . and the inspiration of pea green hillsides, vibrant gardens, and accents that sound like beautiful music.

I’m taking a blogging break on regular posting for the next ten days.  I hope to share what I see and learn, what God whispers over rolling hills, under drizzle of rain, with you afterward.

I plan to share a few photos along the way on Facebook and Twitter. You can like my page and follow me, if you haven’t already,  for a taste of the journey.

Our solo lives have intersected in the common bond of Christ here in this community called Redemptions Beauty. And while I am away, I will be holding you in my heart, thanking Him for each of you.