Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Red Tent Global Network | DeAnna L'am
"Imagine driving home from work, deciding to change course, and heading toward your neighborhood's Red Tent for the evening. Your period is about to start, and all you want to do is curl up in a quiet space.
You enter the Red Tent, and feel like you stepped into a womb...
The lights are soft and diffused, velvety red fabrics are draped in luscious folds all around you, candle flames gently flicker, raspberry-leaf tea is brewing, perfuming the air. A cup of it will soon soothe and nourish your body and soul.
Imagine laying down in front of a beautiful altar, embellished with flowers, sea shells, feathers, and crystals. Exquisite images of the Divine Feminine welcome you. Looking at them you feel embraced, reminded of your own divinity... You pull a red blanket and curl up, feeling the Earth supporting you, letting the tension in your muscles dissolve, deepening your breath, sighing with relief... You are Home!
A woman is sitting in deep meditation at the far corner of the Tent. Behind a red curtain you hear the soft whisper of women talking. If you wish for company you could join them, and be welcomed into their conversation. Staying curled up here, your privacy will be fully respected. For now, you just wish to close your eyes and let your mind drift...
You remember your sister giving birth in the Tent less than a year ago. You were here with her, together with your mother, your community midwife, and close women friends: supporting, encouraging, helping... Welcoming a new life to Earth, and a sister into Motherhood...
You didn't always have this cocoon-like space available to you. Growing up the words 'Red Tent' meant nothing in particular, except a camping trip perhaps. Your first blood was also nothing in particular. Not as shaming as some of the stories you heard in New Moon gatherings at the Tent, and certainly not as supportive as recent ones, in which you were an Auntie to your friends' daughters.
It was you, and the women of your community, that turned the tide. After gathering for years in living rooms, in nature, and in communal spaces, you collectively decided that enough was enough: you had to have a permanent space in your neighborhood that every woman could count on being open and available - any time of the day or night, every day of the month!
You started stirring the pot of your creativity together: collectively you organized fund raisers, created and sold cookies, art, clothing, and jewelry. You screened women-centered movies, you wrote letters, you made appeals, and you received donations. It took far less time than you imagined to raise funds for this essential oasis in your community. And when the funds were there, you all went out and purchased it: a round, red, weather-proof yurt, which was easy to set up, especially with so many hands working together.
You must have fallen asleep in front of the altar, since the Tent around you was fully quiet now. The candles still flickered, casting dancing shadows on the red fabrics. You stretched and yawned, considering whether to go home, or to spend the night right here, in this communal womb you helped create. Turning over you decide to stay.
Your eyes are softly closing, and as you drift back into dream-scape, you spread your wings and fly low, under a full moon, feeling soft breezes caress you. Your neighborhood's Red Tent is getting smaller as you head south under glistening stars. You fly over valleys and streams, villages and towns. It doesn't seem surprising to see a vibrant red spot in each of them, peeking from garden lawns, beneath tree canopies, or on hill tops. Rounded, hexagonal, square, or domed structures -- wave to you in red shades from every neighborhood, village, town, and city.
They seem like they have always been there, and as you fly above them, you know that in each of these -- sisters are reclined: in solitude or in circles, laughing, crying, singing, dreaming, nursing babies, honoring girls as they start their cycle, weaving their lives into a tapestry of stories, in a place they all call Home.
Red Tents In Every Neighborhood
As A Global Network of women
Holding a vision, and taking actions,
Toward having Red Tents in every city, town, village, and community around the world!"
~DeAnna L'am, Red Tent Global Network
Photo by Serena Cristofori of Tende Rosse in ogni Quartiere-Rete Globale