I should have known this. I went to an all-girl school and an all-girl university. I should have known that women in the presence of only women relate differently compared to when women are in the company of men.
When we are with just each other, we drop our defenses, our pretenses. We walk around bra-less and makeup-free. We take dessert with our meals–sometimes two. We laugh with our mouths open, dance with arms flung wide. We haul our own suitcases and kill our own bugs. We stand and cheer for each other. We say what we think–more importantly, we say what we feel. No explanations needed. No facts in sight.
We can speak of our ancestors and how we sense their presence in the room. We can cry. We can write. We can cry some more. We can be outraged. We can scream. #YesAllWomen! We can take delight in simple rituals–moving as waves at dawn, painting our hands blue and gold. We can be naked. We can write our deepest truths on our bodies, under the moon–unfinished and beautiful.
We hold each others’ hands. We wait for the anxiety to pass. We share a cup of tea. We mill and swill. We watch the stars. We read cards and mysteries. Someone plays the piano. Someone always plays the piano. No permission needed.
And when it’s time to go home, it feels more like leaving home.