On standing guard, silver linings and sticky rice 2


Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around

John Mayer

Have you heard the song “Heart of Life” from that old John Mayer album? He sings about how life can sometimes be hard, and how pain throws our heart to the ground. But then love comes and turns it around.

He strums his guitar to the idea that a hard time  never comes at a  convenient and THEN this one line…

Picture with Lyrics

THAT line makes me swoon, because it reminds me of my circle of friends, my tribe, especially the women in my tribe.

The women in my little circle are strong women, sometimes a deep silent strength, sometimes an outrageous, loud, let’s get this shiz done strength. And with this, they come around me, in sadness and pain and joy and triumph. No matter what, women rally. History writes it, and my life can attest to it in the present.

My dear friend Rach says this one thing when one of us is going through a hard time. She says “ I wish you could crawl into your hole and we could stand guard while you heal”. Okay, so maybe they haven’t physically let me crawl into a hole, but in every other sense, my ladies have done just that.

When I moved to a new city and felt alone, they stood guard through consistent visits and cheering me to open my heart to difference.

When I starting dating my now husband, they stood guard by sharing in the excitement first and double-checking all motives second. Truth in love hey?!

When I went through depression, they stood guard by kind words over and over and over again.

When I married my best friend, they stood guard in beautiful dresses and taking part in age-old Indian traditions involving sticky rice they knew nothing about.

When I sometimes worry about health issues and having children, they stand guard by reminding me that their children are my children, by checking on whether I am taking care of myself and sitting beside me at the doctor’s office.

Here’s the incredible thing about women, they don’t want to fix it for you, because their belief in you is greater than their belief in their ability to make it better. So, they stand guard while you heal, while you move and date and start new chapters.

And then comes the ‘silver lining’ bit. My women don’t just defend, they defend the best of the worst. They see the best of the worst; they love the best of the worst… in the world, in people, in me.

Isn’t that the most exquisite thing? When your people see the best in you, no matter what. When they take off your grey glasses and put on your rose ones? When they fiercely protect the good so that it is the only thing left in your line of vision?

Along with keeping it real, making me laugh until my belly hurts, protecting my heart when I can’t and serious dance off’s, standing guard, defending the silver lining  and getting their hands dirty (sometimes with sticky rice)  are a few  of my most favorite things about my tribe.

What about you? What is it about your tribe that is the most exquisite thing? I would love to hear.



About Riyanka Panditha

Hello. I am Riyanka. Commonly referred to as “Ria” and daily loved by my family and friends. I am a child of God, a wife, a daughter, a sister and a friend. I love to sing, dance in the rain and make single servings of cake. I am known for my listening skills and my lack of response to Facebook messages. You can follow my writing more over at www.riyankaleah.com I was born in India, raised in the middle east, spent my most growing years in the US, married the hottest Sri-Lankan Australian hunk and moved to Perth, Western Australia 4 years ago! Life is extravagant, yet simple. Extravagant in love, simple in things. Just the way I like it :)

2 thoughts on “On standing guard, silver linings and sticky rice

  • Bonnie

    Oh Ria. You have such a way with words/ I’m in awe & inspired. Love you!! Bon

  • Elaine Fraser

    Great stuff, Ria. Love this line: ‘And then comes the ‘silver lining’ bit. My women don’t just defend, they defend the best of the worst. ‘

    You’ve described your people so well-what a great tribe!

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