The AROHO Story


The Circle

In the first year of the new century, two women entered the forest. One entered from the west and the other from the east. One was bearing the armor of a corporate suit and one the armor of a nun’s habit. The work was so hard and the armor, no use in the chopping, was left behind them. Lighter now, they moved quickly through the forest and, just as the last light set, came together in the clearing they made by the river. That night they told each other their stories and their deepest needs and pledged to meet there again.

Back in the world, they spoke to other women about what happened when they were together—about how their dreams were born from their own voices and what they spoke out loud and how It was all made possible by the woman listening. They told the women about how their voices grew louder, more powerful, so that they could hold the size of their dreams.

Each time it was easier and faster to get to the clearing—and each time one found the other waiting for her. And always they pledged to meet there again soon. Each knew when she stayed away, when she was too busy to go, that she only hurt herself. And even then, sometimes, too often, she stayed away. Over the years, they were joined by other women who braved the forest, pulled there by their desire to speak their own dreams, their need to speak them out loud to women of like-minds. And so, an ever-widening circle was formed in that clearing by the river.

We are in that circle now, and here we will ask ourselves and each other:

What is possible for each of us because the circle is us?

What wisdom can we offer?

What dreams wait to be spoken into being?

What fearful things need to be given away?

What can we do to make our path to the clearing smoother and broader knowing that many more women will follow?


Click for more of Darlene Chandler Bassett’s and Mary Johnson’s stories:

Darlene and Mary with Mary’s manuscript, An Unquenchable Thirst



—Darlene Chandler Bassett