Twenty-nine: Arrow

Your children are not your children.They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.They come through you but not from you,And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.You may give them your love but not your thoughts.For they have their own thoughts.You may house their bodies but not their souls,For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;For even as he loves the arrow that flies,so He loves also the bow that is stable.~ Kahlil Gibran
I read this at a Women's Circle in celebration of womanhood. During the circle, we honored and celebrated my almost-13-year old daughter's transition from girl to woman. A couple Summers ago, she was part of a Red Tent Woman's Circle at a friend's house and loved it, so I thought I'd gift her with a Red Tent of her own, to honor her new status as woman. 

In our house, coming of age is big. It's important. And it deserves recognition. 

We gathered, women and girls, in a room adorned in red. We shared our maternal lineage and what we find fulfilling about being a woman, along with some words of wisdom. before bestowing small gifts upon the newest woman among us. We ate nourishing foods. And chocolate cake.  A very talented woman adorned those who wished with beautiful artwork done in henna. We talked, laughed, shared, and enjoyed the sacred atmosphere of a gathering of women.

What I loved most about this gathering was the thoughtfulness and meaningfulness of the gifts, the sharing of experiences, and that Haley now knows she has a group of caring, strong, inspiring women to call upon should she ever need to talk, to ask questions, or to seek sanctuary should she need it. 

As Haley’s Mama, I hope to always be the bow, the stable place where she can rest. And I look forward to seeing the path she, as arrow, will take in life.



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