written by Freya age 14… (as published in She Who Knows Magazine)
In the summer of 2016 my mother and I went down from our town to Wales for a mother and daughter camp. I am a teenager who, like most others, doesn’t have a hugely close relationship with my mum and went for the three day camp to bond. At the time I didn’t release how much of an emotional journey it would be.
There were lots of other beautiful girls and there mums. It was amazing to see women together for a little while, enjoying their kids and loving everyone all the same. When we arrived I felt a little uncomfortable because I am so used to male company as most of my friends are boys as well as the fact that I’d never met any of the other women. I had just made the discussion that I wanted to change schools because I was being bullied and had completely shut myself away.
I felt as the days went past I could speak the women and I was able to play with the girls who were younger than me.
They had a yurt which was red, in the field and we’d go there each day for a ceremony. As I had already started to bleed, I was no longer one of the girls so they asked me to join the women. I then had a special ceremony of my own.
The other girls and I made masks, with the help of our mums, covering our eyes and we all decorated them with feathers to look like a cranes although mine looked slightly different as I was joining the women now. I was taken on a blind walk with my mask being guided by Rachael around to the red tent to meet all the women.
We then had some songs and after all the girls had returned and some wonderful stories were told, I sat in the middle and had henna tattooed on by everyone, which was very moving. There was drumming, tales of mothers and daughters in the past and the stages of womanhood.
We all ate our food together, shared experiences together and all slept on the same holy land. I completely forgot about being scared and cried a great deal like I should have expressed before. We were able to explore the land alone with our mums and have a real adventure.