I’ve never had a sister. When I was younger, I adopted friends and called them sisters, as I am sure many girls in the same situation do. “Love you like a sister,” I’d say — back when that was the cool thing to say. I wore necklaces and charm bracelets with half-heart pendants, the other half exchanged with love with one of my closest “sisters.” Sometimes I even argued with my friends as if we were really sisters, bickering over chapstick flavors and whether Ricky Martin was cuter than any of the Backstreet Boys.
Although I’ve grown out of both chapstick collections and charm bracelets (but never Ricky Martin!), I am still enamored with the idea of sisterhood. In fact, just this weekend I wrote a note and signed it, “love you like a sister,” without the faintest remembrance that “LYLAS” used to be all the rage.
When I stumbled upon this anecdote by Monica Gabriel, a young woman blessed to have five blood sisters, I felt a keen awareness of the potential universality of sisterhood.
In her blog post, reflections on fighting over a solitary bathroom quickly dissipate into memories of “whispered soul-baring after the lights were out.”
Then comes a word of hope for the sister-less; a bit of encouragement for me:
“And the most important thing [sisterhood] taught me is that this love can be shared. I have come to see how easily sisterly love can thrive within all of our female friendships.”
In the end, as if Ms. Gabriel were speaking to the Anchal sisterhood, she poses the very challenge that fuels this fall’s new line of scarves:
“Imagine if this sisterly love could be extended, even in its most basic form, to women we have less time to develop friendships with.”
Perhaps we don’t have the time, or the resources, to journey to India and meet our soul sisters. But, they are there. On the other side of the world our sisters are stitching scarves and quilts and pillows that will be sold here in the States just weeks from now. They are thinking of us, women they have never met, as their fingers move gracefully over the recycled sari material. They are extending their love, knowing that somewhere, across the Earth, someone will accept their offering and in some small way, adopt a sister.
Supporting the Anchal artisans is an act of love. I am so glad to be a part of this sisterhood!
Share your thoughts on what sisterhood means to you below.