One cannot know to where to turn in stressful and anxious days. It is hard to distinguish between what comes from you and what doesn’t, and to journey into the silence. To be able to feel that you are heard when you talk is even harder. You know that there is one corner somewhere in the world where you can run and hide, but you fail to find it. When you suddenly run away and hide in some place you discover a paradox where you feel both the weight and the lightness in your heart, and you smile. That is how UmAy is.

UmAy laborers, volunteers, and supporters were as warm as the soup served at lunch comforting my throat. Their smiles are as sweet as kömbe cookie, a childhood memory from Kırıkhan, which has now become a symbol for existence and resurrection of a woman.The hours got very shortened while I was there as if the time passed us. We journeyed into our bodies accompanied by sounds of the birds and clouds dancing, aligning. I struggled for many things in life and my identity can be defined in multiple ways; but never before as a healer, as someone with the ability to share wellness. Özlem, Sevil, Adrianne and Elif showed me that taking an inner journey was not madness, and I learned with them how I could exist in utterly different forms. 

Lots of laughters, smiles and non-judgemental embraces stuck with me the most. As I watched Ozlem’s feeding wood in the fireplace, what passed my mind was “so much is possible.” If asked what ‘so much’ is that we women are healers of each other, and how powerful we are when we stick together! Even when alone, it is an empowering and promising abundance to know the existence of this house as a safe space. How fresh my breathing became thanks to the strong hearts’ believing in a whole, embracing rituals, having deep conversations at night, challenging borders, loving nature, helping me forget modern binaries.

Despite my unplanned leave, peace of mind cleared time. I hope to see you at the earliest opportunity. With beauty, love, and a heartfelt namaste.


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