The Red Tent {Fear Not}

This is an email sent in by BWF reader, Rebecca A.

Recently I re-read Anita Diamant’s, “The Red Tent” which is the fictional story of Dinah, the daughter of the biblical Jacob and Leah. It’s a beautiful novel, rich in the emotions of feminine life. I’ve read the novel more than once, but what has always caught my attention and tugged on my soul-strings is the aspect of midwifery.

Diamant explains midwifery and childbirth with an emotional diversity that speaks to all women. Diamant pulls you into the sacred spiritual and physical drama of birth but enfolds you in the love of the women as they cherish the laboring Mother. What truly touched my heart was this song:

“Fear not, the time is coming

Fear not, your bones are strong

Fear not, help is nearby

Fear not, Gula (God) is near

Fear not, the baby is at the door

Fear not, (s)he will live to bring you honor

Fear not, the hands of the midwife are clever

Fear not, the earth is beneath you

Fear not, we have water and salt

Fear not, little mother

Fear not, mother of us all!”

I imagine myself, in the Red Tent surrounded by Mothers, Aunties and Sisters, laboring to bring a child in this world while being massaged by oils, held by loving and gentle hands, being held by Sisters on both sides and sitting on one sister’s knees as I push my baby Earth Side. What a loving, spiritual and sacred way to bring a new life into the world. I wish someone had sang that song for me, before my Son was born but, I know it now and it gives me peace. I hope that by passing this song into the knowledge of Mothers, it gives them strength and joy and peace.

Picture by Erin Monroe with Erin Monroe Photography


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