How might your 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 and trust the ancient flow already there within yourself…waiting to be released…

A place of women…

How might your life be different?

I won’t speak for you, but I feeeeeeeeeel the longing within me as I read these words, as I let them soak into my pores, enter my imagination and bloodstream, and transmute my deepest hopes and strongest desires.

These emotions are being prompted, at least in part, by my ongoing awareness of just how much I think…and think…and think. Trying to make sense of things, figure it all out, reason my way through, find an answer. But in this place, where the women gather, all this thinking and reasoning and processing, though allowed and understood, is not the native tongue.

In this place, where the women gather, we feeeeeeeeeel. We trust. We know.

Tears flow. Laughter abounds. No words at all need be spoken. And here, the truest, deepest part of us is honored and made whole.

In this place, where the women gather, we are surrounded and nurtured and loved. Balm for the wounded soul. Comfort for the most tender of hearts. Strength for the weary and worn.

This place, where the women gather, is why I return to the ancient, sacred stories of women, stories worth telling. Because I desperately long for (and find) a gathering of women who serve as mothers, sisters, aunts, and grandmothers, great- and great-great-great grandmothers, the closest of friends. As I re-imagine and redeem their stories, I re-imagine and redeem my own. As I stay with them, and they with me, I slowly-but-surely let go of my thinking and reasoning and processing. They invite me in, offer me shelter and solace, courage and strength, and give me permission to just rest, just wait, just be, just feeeeeeeeeel.

They invite you in, as well.

Can you imagine?

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, after the fires were lighted, and the drumming, and the silence, there would be a hush of expectancy…a knowing that each woman there was leaving old conformity to find her self…a sense that all 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 be different?

Imagine it. And then…just ask.

Both quotes from A Circle of Stones: Woman’s Journey to Herself by Judith Duerk

[This post originally appeared – in a slightly different form – in October of 2013]