Monday, 26 August 2013

Tribe. Fire. Sisters.

Women for centuries have been raising babies together. Gathering food and water. Forming a community within themselves where secrets are shared, tears are shed and honesty is prevalent.
My sisters are plenty and each of them I cherish. While I have an equally wonderful tribe of mamas and friends in the city in which I live, I am also very blessed to be part of a tribe of intelligent, fiercely beautiful women. These are women I have known for well over a decade, who met me as a coming-in-to-my-own-but-I'm-still-lost-twenty-something, and who have grown with me into adulthood. Each of them have had their own majestic and heart-wrenching experiences along the way. Through it, we know each other. No walls. No bullshit. Just raw beings; wild women who see one another in truth.

Because of my life's path and because I live much further away, I sadly only see these delicious creatures once or twice a year. It used to be more - as the summer festivals rolled around, we would congregate in forests, and clearings, farm houses and campsites to reconnect, to share and learn from one another; to run Amok and partake in shenanigans - often around a gargantuan bonfire, the sounds of drums and giggles our soundtrack.

This year there were giggles. There were drums. There was fire. We were and are tribe. But it's different now. Rather than see the sun come up because we are stumbling back to our tents from hours of dancing and running amok for hours, we see the sun come up because we are waking with our toddlers. We are taking arnica or advil for our aches from sleeping on the ground instead of the fact that we had too much mead or because our hands hurt from beating a drum all night. But, instead of mourning the festivals past, I have come to grow content in the gentle shifts. (There may or may not have been a bit of pouting and nostalgia along the way.) 

It was being faced with a choice that caused me to realize I had reached that point, that I had indeed shifted... Upon coming out of the privy a few nights back (yes, there are privies in the woods if you know the right people) I had a choice. I could turn left and follow the sounds of the drums, knowing it would take me to fire, dancing, frolicking and letting the wild woman in me run, if only for a couple hours. 

Or, I could turn right and follow the sounds of my child crying and my partner attempting to soothe her back to sleep. I wasn't aware that I had a choice, let alone that I was making it until I was at my tent unzipping the door to fold my girl into my arms and give my love a sweet, gentle kiss goodnight, telling him he was a beautiful father.

As I lay there the next morning I realized that it wasn't so much a sacrifice as it was a shift to not run with the wolves that night. That shift wouldn't, couldn't, have happened without the support of my sisters. We will run again, and often... and thanks to that, our pups might just run along with us.

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