Yesterday morning, we had our “official” (scheduled) weekly check in. We’re all busy, but I check in almost every day with each of the women of the Womb – over morning coffee/tea, breakfast, lunch, brief crash/rest moments on the couch or late night studying in the kitchen. Still, I treasure our Sunday meetings. In the midst of our busy schedules it’s nice to have at least one full-group meeting each week.

At the beginning of the semester, each of the five of us identified a book we’d like to share with one another and this week, Lauren’s pick In the Image by Dara Horn was up for discussion. As usual, our time together was powerful and our reflections covered multiple topics. It might not be a surprise that in our space in the Womb, interconnection was one of the key themes I picked up on as I read the book. The book weaves narratives of characters from multiple generations, so in addition to talking about connections among and with people who are our contemporaries, it emphasizes the roles experiences of generations past have in shaping our present experiences. Further, it explores cultural and social connections.

In the Womb, any number of these themes come up as regular topics of conversation. We often discuss our our identities as women, people of faith and students. We talk about our passions for justice. We talk about our families and our ancestors – the way they shaped us and our journeys. We talk about our nationalities and more. I’m ever grateful for the opportunities this home of ours provides for exploring similarities and differences. Through it all, we are deepening our connections with each other and our expanding circles!

Here’s a quote from the book that resonated (not without a supplementary link to express recognition of at least some of what’s problematic about the diamond industry, though):

“Diamonds are pure carbon, pieces of coal, more or less, buried beneath hundreds of miles of molten rock, emerging one billion to three billion years later as shining stars, like hardened fire. The carbon that forms them comes from the earth’s mantle, the layer of molten matter that forms the bulk of the planet. But some diamonds come from organic matter forced into the mantle…Others come from meteorites, carbon remnants of the corpses of distant stars. Which is a long and complicated way of saying that, despite all the conquests across the surface of the earth, nothing is really lost.”

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