The Fire Within

~ Written by Carolyn Reilly, Springhouse Parent and Adult Programming Participant ~

My youngest daughter and I camped out in the pouring rain this past Friday night. We joined together with other moms and their daughters in a final culminating event as a part of the Springhouse Rites of Passage program for young girls called Tides.

The girls spent time learning how to tend a fire, both literally and their own inner fire. They also learned about the transformations that will be happening to their bodies and what being female means to them. After each weekly gathering, my daughter would excitedly share what was discussed and eagerly ask questions about my own experience from childhood into adolescence. I am grateful for this program creating a safe and sweet opening for my daughter to feel comfortable in discussing an important and amazing time of life.

This month-long journey deepened my connections - to myself, my daughter, my mother, our earth, and the community. In our weekly time together, us mothers were able to share openly about our experience in times of transformation and work through some of the wounds tied to the transition to womanhood. Honoring each other and re-learning the importance of tending our internal flame has been a sweet gift.

The fire within, that flickers, flares up, and sometimes fades, reminds me of the lifelong journey of discovering and knowing ourselves. Respecting the rhythm of our bodies and committing to love carries us through this life.

Rilke tells us:

I would describe myself

like a landscape I’ve studied

at length, in detail;

like a word I’m coming to understand;

like a pitcher I pour from at mealtime;

like my mother’s face;

like a ship that carried me

when the waters raged.

Through Tides, my daughter and I learned together the importance of honoring and knowing our bodies, holding fast to the fire within as we persevere in our journey of life.

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Springhouse Community School is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. It is also a community of people with respect for diversity. The school emphasizes the dignity and equality common to all persons and adheres to a strict nondiscrimination policy regarding the treatment of individual faculty, staff, students, family members, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. Springhouse is an equal opportunity employer. In accord with federal law and applicable Virginia statutes, the school does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, political affiliation, disability, or status as a veteran in employment or in any program or activity offered or sponsored by the school.

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