Goddesses in the Dust: The Last Girls' Class Reunion

An archaeologist unearths the divine feminine, one archetype at a time...

Thirty six of us stood on the steps of our school that June day. The sun beat down on our white gowns and mortarboards, that virginal color so many girls wear to graduation. The last girl's class to graduate before our school merged with the boy's school. The new school took the boy's school's name, as Northrop Collegiate School was too much of a mouthful to swallow. 

I've spent all my life in girl's schools. After attending a convent school in England, my parents needed to find me a new school when we returned to the States.
Me in uniform, Oaklawn, Silverdale Avenue, Walton-on-Thames
The English educational system had moved me a couple grades ahead, and my parents didn't want to send a nerdy, socially clueless, tortoiseshell-glasses-wearing prepubescent girl into an American public high school where I would have been eaten alive.
My younger sister and me in uniform, Walton-on-Thames, England
So they chose this private girl's school. This is where I came of age. I could continue to study Latin and enjoy my favorite subject - math - without worrying about being distracted by boys in the class. As an all girls' school we didn't seem to care as much how we looked, never learning how to use makeup and rarely wearing a bra. Friends took Tampax to class, the paper wrapped tubes tucked into the breast pocket of their navy blue uniform jumpers. 

In some ways, it was an idyllic situation. We came to know boys, eventually — but not too early — not before we came to know ourselves. We were too busy enjoying the company of other girls, building up - and occasionally tearing down - each other's self-esteem, in the way only girls know. But because our class was small, it was important to be a friend.

And here I learned how to be a friend.

Last weekend we gathered again. I enjoyed catching up with these beautiful and strong women and learning about their lives. The adage: the more things change, the more they stay the same would be true, as is the old song we used to sing at Girl Scouts:

Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.

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