I was “playing” on my back porch sorting seeds I had dried from last year, basking not in the sun, but in the unusually cooler weather of an early Texas fall. The rain fell with a steady thrum, surrounding the perimeter of the porch, giving me the illusion of resting in a tent with the flaps open. I felt comforted by my back-porch tent, protected enough by its insular space to allow my insistent feelings of grief, fear, and anxiety to rise up like an early morning fog.

This sense of being cocooned in a separate yet safe space where my vulnerable self can sit and just be me, reminds me of a favorite book, The Red Tent, by Anita Diamont. She tells the story of a young biblical character, Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah, growing up in a transient yet moored, inviolable, nomadic tented family.

One tent in particular in Dinah’s community was an especially barricaded shelter. It was designated for women going through their monthly trials. In this tent, Dinah was safe to express herself and listen to the stories of her fellow sisters’ and mothers’ uncensored novellas.

Today, in this particular season, in my particular back-porch tent, I’m writing my own story out. I set aside my home-made seed packets and picked up my pen instead. When sharing my thoughts and prayers with you, I feel validated, seen, and heard. Thank you!

May you find your safe tent in which you can sit with your uncensored self. May you, who have lost yourself in the labyrinth of ordinary life, who have been separated from loved ones, regain your forgotten sense of how to be led by hopes and dreams.

Where and with whom is your safe tent?

Thou hast heard the lament of the humble, O Lord, and art attentive to their heart’s desire, bringing justice to the orphan and the downtrodden that fear may never drive men out from their tents again.

Psalms 10: 17-18

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