It has been many years now since my first Women’s Gathering at Twin oaks, and I will never forget my first time and how incredibly life-changing it was for me.
I arrived late Friday night in the pitch black. It was a hot, muggy night. I was in a state of excitement and nervousness. I had sweat pouring down my face as my heavy body carried my tent and all of my equipment. I didn’t know anyone. but I was very excited to be in women-only space. Walking on the path in the dark, I could hear drums and see a fire in the distance. As I walked up to the fire pit and saw naked women drumming, I thought, “These are my people.” I watched women dance, and I thought, “I want to dance like that someday. I want to experience the freedom that these women are experiencing.”
Over the next couple days, I felt more freedom in my own skin that I had ever felt in my entire life. I had always been so self-conscious of my body, but at the Gathering, I was met with acceptance and warmth, and I never felt judged. For the first time, I wore a tank top in public. And I worked, played, and of course danced with women I have come to cherish.
I come back every year, and this is my third year being an organizer. I have learned so much from my beautiful teachers and friends. If you have never experienced how empowering it is to be in women’s space, I urge you to give it a try . – Erin Tucker