Proposing “halcyon” as an attribute to UmAy
It has been almost a year now since I first heard about UmAy. Throughout this year, I lived through the busiest months of my life, then moved to Canada for a couple of months, returned from Canada earlier than expected due to the pandemic, and spent the most comfort-zone time with my parents during the quarantine—often too comfortable to bear. Visiting UmAy upon such an overloaded year, I could finally relish freedom of body and mind and make peace with time which, at last, stopped rushing. My time as a visitor/volunteer at UmAy turned into a restorative journey of yoga, walking, and long conversations with my mentor and friend Özlem. These conversations left me with an easy-to-feel, difficult-to-maintain feeling: hope. I had many perplexities unraveled here at UmAy—a halcyon place for women to cultivate intellectually, artistically, and personally. Influenced by the literary atmosphere I savored here, I find “halcyon” to be a perfect word to attribute to UmAy: a mythical bird that breeds around the time of winter solstice and nests afloat on the sea, charming the winds and waves into tranquility. I hope that all the women whose paths will cross with UmAy in the future will be empowered by the same sentiment.