Have you ever seen a peacock fly?
Doesn’t it look like a phoenix? No wonder the Ancients were so inspired.
Peafowl, as peacocks and peahens are called, were early inspirations for the mythology surrounding the phoenix the symbolic inspiration for Phoenix Place.
The phoenix, a mythological creature with a life cycle of 500 years, is consumed at the end of its life by a fire which burns fiercely and completely until nothing remains but ash, out of which it is reborn and the cycle begins again.
It’s a symbol of regeneration, of rebirth and renewal, of the immortality of the soul. How appropriate for the work we do at Phoenix Place: provide women with a place to gather their wits together, sift through the ashes of their old life and help them fan the embers of a new future.
Peafowl symbolize benevolence, patience, kindness, compassion. Never mind some people use them as security agents; their loud scream is sure enough to both wake the dead and announce intruders.
Here at Phoenix Place women find the resources they need to regenerate after burning the bridges of their old lives, they find the compassion and nurturing they need to support them in the difficult decisions they make daily; the struggle to find themselves, set goals, achieve small, and not-so-small victories, and face the world with new hope for a better future. They find safety, security, and the peace of mind they need to begin rebuilding their lives.
It’s difficult to imagine, perhaps, how different it is for women who are abused to find the strength they need to step up and step out of an abusive relationship. Often the men they are leaving don’t want them to go and will promise to move the earth and sky to get them back into the home – so they can continue the abuse, so they can exert their control, so that their lives don’t have to change. It’s not love they feel for a companion, a partner, but the need for power and control that drives their behaviour.
Women who come to Phoenix Place are supported through a 24-week workshop designed to assist them in pulling together the resources they need, both within themselves and throughout the community, that can help them on their journey to a new life. Finding an apartment is the most important task, an apartment she can afford, that she feels safe in, that she can call home. Life in crisis is chaotic and emotionally messy, a safe and secure harbour in the storm goes a long way toward healing the soul.
There’s transition happening at Phoenix Place every day, small little transformations and huge complete makeovers. When women leave and move into their new apartments they take with them the furniture, pots, pans and linens they need to set up their new homes. Like the phoenix, they gather their nests and fly off to the city of the sun…