Red hearted wholeness


“How might you life have been different if there had been a place for you?  A place for you to go… a place of women, to help you learn the ways of woman… a place where you were nurtured from an ancient flow sustaining you and steadying you as you sought to become yourself.  A place of women to help you find the ancient flow already there within yourself… waiting to be released…

How might your life have been different if there had been a place for you… a place of women, where you were received and affirmed?  A place where other women, perhaps somewhat older, had been affirmed before you, each in her time, affirmed, as she struggled to become more truly herself.

A place where, after the fires were lighted, and the drumming, and the silence, there would be a hush of expectancy filling the entire chamber… a knowing that each woman there was leaving old conformity to find her self… a sense that all of womanhood stood on a threshold.

And if, during the hush, the other women, slightly older, had helped you to trust your own becoming… to trust it and quietly and prayerfully to nurture it…

How might your life have been different, if, through the years there had been a place where you could go? …a place of women, away from the ordinary busy-ness of life… a place of women who knew the cycles of life, the ebb and flow of nature, who knew times of work and times of quiet… who understood your tiredness and need of rest.

A place of women who could help you to accept your fatigue and trust your limitations, and to know, in the dark of winter, that your energy would return, as surely as the Spring.

Women who could help you learn to light and candle and wait…

How might your life be different?…”

Judith Duerk, A Circle of Stones

Luckily for us women, these places do still exist.  I know of them in the form of Red Tents and I am blessed to be a part of one in my very home town.  For me, the Red Tent encompasses all of the above and more… a place where I can go to be nurtured, to be nourished, to be accepted, inspired, held, and loved.  A place where I can connect in with other women, yes, but also, more crucially, a place where I can connect in with myself.


I do this for me.  I do this to continue the thread that was begun a long, long time ago.  And I do this for my daughters.  I want them to grow up knowing, not only that these places exist, that they are real, but that there is a place for them in this circle too.  That there will always be a place for them in this circle.


And who knows… maybe, hopefully, they won’t need to be asking themselves one day how their own lives might have been different…