She wore a long strapped floral dress in yellows and carnelian, with a wide summer straw hat and heeled brown strap-ons. I wore a mask. Jasmine was rescuing me, offering her presence in response to my utter despair and depletion.

Ernst Haeckel’s Kunstformen der Natur (1899)

“Why don’t you come over for an hour,” she said on the phone. “We can put our feet in the creek.” I was supposed to work more. I’d taken time off to dance and found myself crying instead. I knew I needed help and I needed it soon.

Jasmine and I found each other through a women’s weekend workshop a few years ago by Emma Back called “She Sings Out Loud.” I also met Raven there, Raven who’s moved to Arizona and thrives so much I don’t hear from her that much.

Jasmine and I are half-sisters by astrology, twin souls. She embodies the feminine so completely that walking with her, sitting with her, seeing her, always feels like the answer to all my prayers. We walked along the wide rural upscale road to the creek. She brought a bowl of rose petals in yellow and vermilion for us to “play with.” I suspected they would also help me process my feelings through their high-vibration beauty. People give flowers at funerals because they absorb negative energy. I put some petals inside my bra and on my thighs, lifting my sky-blue sundress and rubbing them on my skin. She tossed hers lightly into the water, where they began to form eddies of succulent color.

She started by asking me a few questions. I said, “Would it be okay if I just talk for a while?” I knew I most needed to talk and be heard the way girls do, to talk until I grew more clear about how I felt and maybe even how to address it.

And so I began. It’s hard to talk about, even now. Because I feel better, I don’t even want to tell this part. Inhale. Exhale. I told her how my beloved and I had been fighting—hard. I mentioned that while I love the way he’s a mirror who brings up what most needs to heal, he has not respected my timing in this. Plus he’s wildly productive, a masculine type A—not exactly a balance for my perfectionist tendencies.

I have such a challenging time slowing down, acquiescing to the unfolding world around me, being rather than doing and scheduling enough time without any schedule.

I know I need time to be without an agenda, that I thrive on it, that nothing makes me happier than a wide-open day that’s mine to live in as I please. But it’s hard for me to take such time. My mom’s always been the one to remind me to take care of myself. She still does. But between COVID-19 distancing and her short-term memory loss, it’s been harder for us lately to have the good long talks we used to.

As I spoke to Jasmine, anger poured out, a frustration that my partner doesn’t support or encourage my feminine time. (He’s happiest when every instant in his life is scheduled as part of an elaborate system.) Worse, he’d just turned over rocks to free my demons in the middle of an epic work week with a huge event just days away.

“I need a wife. I need my partner to function in a supportive way.”

“I don’t think he can,” Jasmine said. “He doesn’t make enough time for himself to recover and receive, so how can he give that to you? You both need more rest, relaxation, and recreation, and then to come together to enjoy more of that together.”

Amegilla cingulata on long tube of Acanthus ilicifolius flower

Apart from some wise advice to rebuild our date nights as the nourishing experience they used to be before we moved in together, Jasmine asked me to focus on me and my life. It’s time for me to put the feminine before the masculine. I don’t know if I can. It was literally about 48 hours ago that I healed a deep part in me that just hated women. My dad had issues with women and rejected me hard when I hit puberty. The girls at school who bullied me were, well, women in the making. And I hated my body for betraying me. This was when the split opened up and my authenticity and wholeness vaporized. At 10, found myself eyeing the deepest, blackest pit of despair I could have imagined, and walked to the nearby drugstore and plastered my walls with inspirational posters. I will stay positive. I will stay in the light.

Now, aligned with my skin, I see my mission to embrace the divine feminine receiving flexible flow of beingness like it’s all I’ve lost. I’m keeping the masculine too. But what if no one but me can be the loving wife I deeply need? At least it’s a place to begin.

Strangely, when I got home from our walk, Christopher had dinner on the table. And he said to me, “I really miss the way you and Jasmine used to hold the feminine energy in our band. You were united in that. Maybe I need to learn to hold it too.”

Nascent new muscles in me hope also to learn, to embody. Jasmine suggested that I breathe into each experience like a warm whole-body hug. Like now when I’m typing, I realize I’m afraid, so I breathe and relax my shoulders. Last night, I tasted every morsel of the mushroom-beef-garlic-fennel-onion-pepper dish I cooked with the buttered, steaming potatoes.

How am I stretching, unfurling into now, the only place I can meet me and nourish me? The divine feminine dwells not only within Jasmine. It dwells within us all. We are starved for her nurturing presence. I open my tired body, heart, and soul, and begin.

To welcome her in.