Back in the La Leche League days, another Leader and I were discussing the importance of moms-at-home, particularly ones with young children, getting out regularly and being with other moms. We reasoned that in traditional cultures, it would be unheard of for a mom and her baby to be cooped up all day in her own hut. Women passed their time together, weaving baskets, tanning leather, tending their children - doing whatever it was the womenfolk of the Tribe needed to be doing. It's how we're built, and it was something we knew that we were lacking.
Thus was born Tribal Day. I think I coined the term, (but it felt like it was usually held at her house.) Once a week, one of us would open our home for friends, neighbors and LLL moms to drop in. We'd put coffee and maybe a pot of soup on, some people would show up with something to share, and we would spend the day in each other's company, just talking, laughing sharing stories and ideas, commiserating over this or that, or even just taking a rest while someone else held the baby for a change.
Never did we need that more than in the winter, when the days were dark and cold, and the idea of bundling the kids up and sending them outside for long stretches was just too overwhelming. The atmosphere in that crowded kitchen, dining, and living room was warm and welcoming and provided such a contrast to a cold, bitter day outside. We usually had a large turnout.
We used to say, wouldn't it be nice if people felt comfortable just dropping in anytime? Why set aside one day? We both wanted to create the kind of atmosphere where people felt they could just pop by for a cup of coffee and gather spontaneously. Anything we were busy with could usually wait. We wouldn't worry about if the house was clean, we'd keep some snacks or soup materials handy and we'd encourage people (and each other) to just pop by.
But that really didn't happen much. In our culture, people "pop by" less and less, unfortunately.
I was happy to have had my own little Tribal Day today. There were only four of us, plus one cute preschooler, but there was soup and bread and coffee and brownies and it was a warm and wonderful way to spend a cold and windy afternoon.
I'm reminding myself to do that more often as winter sets in.