I was dubious about the red tent. Curious but dubious, and perhaps a little apprehensive about what might emerge once I had entered. The welcome email preparing me for the day stated I should probably like to bring some crochet or knitting to occupy my hands while we talked, to bring some nutritious snacks while we shared stories and to do some yoga stretches to keep supple throughout the day. We were asked to wear something gorgeous and red, to bring objects which meant something to us, to read poems and tell tales which were meaningful - for the group to learn from.
Yes, it was a big 'hippy' women's group. The red tent refers to the place, according to ancient law, that women gather while menstruating or giving birth. A place where women once found mutual support and encouragement from their mothers, sisters and aunts.
A good percentage of you are probably groaning or rolling your eyes, or spitting your tea out at the computer in hilarity. In fact, I made fun of it before I had attended, in the way that you do when you are nervous or unsure.
The reality was the most amazing experience which blew me away. A safe space to share, comfort, learn, love, hold, cry, grow. I feel very privileged to have had this chance to be with some incredible women, to have exposed deep thoughts and feelings, to emerge a better person for it even if emotionally exhausted.
Perhaps every community should have a Red Tent.