First Gathering...Images of the day

O Beautiful Gaia…first PEI gathering…images that wound their way through the week…. Sun and black seeds on red rocks and blue jays swooping…avoiding yet curious…. bees in flower faces…

Arriving early to the Nature Centre with boxes and binders and bags and treasures… entering through door with trees cut into glass by hands and heart and sand…entering into woodlands and grasslands, shore and river, reds and greens and blues of island spaces… passing through these into our room…still and waiting, eyes of owl and raven, fox and jay…keeping us in sight…listening softly, gentle and powerful reminder of life, of death, of our purpose and our connectedness…

Women begin arriving early…with laughter and colour and energy and conversation…until we gather with song that brings us to a still and blended place…we speak with sure and honest words...we 24 women who are mothers, who are lovers, who are sisters, who live in community, who live with children, partners, with animal friends, with selves…we speak with sure and honest words, telling of our love for red land, woodland, ocean wave, ocean shoreline, ocean waters…telling of our love for field, for cliff, for lichen growing, for open horizon, for green arms overhead sheltering, for marshland and hills of rock holding, for waters surrounding, and flowing…

…then we speak with awkward and honest words of a vision and a purpose, of moving from and moving towards, of circling, and bringing forth, of remembering, of creating new…of protecting, of loving, of learning to love more deeply….

Lunch is on a sweet and grassy space sloping down from curved roots of a tree…shade is cooling some and sun is speckling others with leaf filtered light…we sit on the ground - some, and on old wooden benches - others…eating from our brown bags lunches and drinking red cranberry juice…tree is a seat back to several…after, we walk through long grass and brown-eyed-susan's, to a path that winds through oak and moss, through old wise hemlock, over clear running stream with sandstone bottom that looks like sand ripples on the beach….we gather round an old rotting stump to look at and admire a prime specimen of 'slime mold'…and return, taking much longer than planned…speaking layers of meaning into the day…

O Beautiful Gaia calls us back, we are singing with images that take us into the lazy afternoon hours of needed attention and details…energy rises with vision and imagining… excitement in 'yes', in eager eyes, in agreeing on dates, and tasks for next time, in talking of ways and whys and hows and possibilities...

Ending the circle outside under sinking sun with words that spoke of love, and fear and desire and hope and forward motion…voices singing Awakening, and There is a Time into wind, into women's hearts as they slowly departed one by one as the last singers voices stayed til the last notes were done…

Good, good work…good, awkward ground…good loving consideration, things to keep and things to change and things to think of and feel inside…we bring our island deeper into ourselves…we bring ourselves deeper into each other. We leave with amazement for our love, with questions and concerns, with wonder, with faith that we will find our way...


Photos of Gathering 1

First Meeting of O Great Gaia PEI
Saturday, September 7, 2002 ~ MacPhail Nature Centre

Present: Anne Leblanc, Anne Mazer, Carol Gabanna, Charlotte Keen, Clare Waddell, Jan Devine, Kate Poole, Katherine Clough, Lise Morin, Margaret Tusz King, Marion Coppleston, Maureen Larkin, Melissa Mullen, Michelle Jay, Nathalie Lefrancois, Paula Foley, Pix Butt, Sylvie Arseneault, Bethany Doyle, Joan Doyle, Rita Kelly, Georgina Kelly, Bernice Steele, Audrey Brocklehurst

Ideas on Structure for our Gatherings:

Structured Monthly days which would include
- learning
- singing
- sharing
- creativity (arts)
-Clarify our purpose (Why are we here?)
-Share responsibility
-Flexible, but some known structure
-Separate group of women working together on issue/piece
-Discovery and dialogue in group monthly - social transformation element
-Shared leadership - volunteers for each component/activities
-Learn to extend ourselves
-ask for what we need/want/like; ie guided meditations
-freedom/trust to dissent - speak up for what you want is essential part of the process
-speak to previous organizers re learnings on content and process
-leadership notebook
-document process - legacy of words/images/etc
-open group to new women participants in the group until Nov ?? women of vision/commitment to process
-Help each other learn/evolve
-expand the vision - to make it our own, incorporate everyone's creativity/heart
-trust yet limit who/what we can be as a group
-central repository of thoughts can be sent throughout month to Marion Coplestone (
-simple, doable so as not to overwhelm
-September 16, 2002 an gifts/resources inventory w/in group power flower
-learn about being in a group


Planning Next Gathering
Katherine, Jan, Carol - Come with an outline, program structure for group

Maureen to write up notes and Jan to send out
Marion to receive and organize brainstorm or parking lot of items
General - Jan to continue

Recording possibilities
Carol Putnam in NS and Paula Foley to investigate

Monthly donations in jar/ MacPhail for small expenses such as photocopying
pre-sales of CDs, cards, creative arts project, concert

Meal at MacPhail in November - Michelle

BRAINSTORMING OF POSSIBILITIES FOR PROJECT: Farmer's Market sales/promotion/skills and gifts
Create new music/ lyrics of our region
Home concerts affordable & fun
Environmental Theatre - Armdale Theatre/Ecology Action
Dancing together!! mambo/Elm Dance
Mask-making - Sandy Kowalik - Council of All Beings
PEI Raging Grannies?? B outreach to younger women
Improv - chanting/instruments
Hiking/Skiiingetc. Lewes Walk
Power Flower Exercise
Celebrate Earth Day (April 22)/ International Women's Day
Expand knowledge/learn re earth
Stand together and SING about an issue (as a way of participating in public events)
5 ways to sustain hope: long term vision/ short term goals/ network/ fun!/ celebrate accomplishments regularly
Regular feedback on process
Land conservancy on PEI preserve or rejuvenate
Gaia Land Trusts nationwide
Roadside shrines to appreciate Sacred Land
What about land of Roman Catholic church
Photo exhibition
cd rom - slides?
music video
mini-disk recording
4 track recording - Kate Poole
Volunteer at MacPhail weeding, etc.
Make a calendar - Gaia
Cards with words and images
Community Foundation $?? Arts Council??
Have an Art Day
Community & Cultural Affairs $$ Rita to investigate
Atlantic Women and the Environment
Aare Birds of the Island A Photos of women naked in the enviroment
Photos of our group throughout


October 27 Sunday, 1 -5 pm
November 16 (all day with Carolyn McDade) Saturday, 9 am - 5 pm
December 8 Sunday, 1-5 pm
January 11 Saturday, 11 am - 4 pm
February 16 Sunday, 1-5 pm
March 15 (all day with Carolyn McDade) Saturday, 9am - 5 pm
April 13 Sunday, 1-5 pm
May 3 Saturday, 11am - 4 pm
June 7,8 Belcourt (with Carolyn McDade) - Belcourt Centre
July 4,5,6 ??? recording


ATLANTIC CANADA : Longing Series, O Beautiful Gaia, Beginners, So Great a Love, Awakening, Wild-Hearted (Paula) , Julie's Chant, Bridgit's Chant

GREAT LAKES BASIN: Longing Series, O Beautiful Gaia, Beginners, Listen to the Voices, Somos El Barco (with children), Zimbabwe Women's Prayer, Plea for One World

ATLANTIC NEW ENGLAND: Longing Series,O Beautiful Gaia, Beginners, Sun Look Out, Among the Many

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