I grew up with five sisters and a mother in a house that had thin walls, limited bathroom space and one phone line. I learned how to love my own space.
I also learned how to share, and to be part of a larger group, even when I longed for individuation. Today, with more freedom under my belt, I turn to my sisters when I need a sanctuary from a world that can be harsh. After a recent illness, I spent the night at my sister’s. In her back bedroom, away from the world, I slept for 12 hours straight, into recuperation. It wasn’t just the room. I felt safe in her care.
In this circle of nurturing lies strength—it’s the untapped zenith of thousands of years of tending, listening and paying attention. It’s the bedside vigils when the fever hits, the dreams terrorize or when life ends. It’s more powerful than war, even with its ‘awesome’ new technology. When channeled, it can be more potent that all kinds of hate and violence.
This message is adapted from “Communities of Women: Strength in Numbers” written by Clare La Plante in the January-February 2004 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather magazine).