PEI, November 2002 Meeting
Musings and Afterthoughts

Katherine Clough

O Beautiful Gaia

Mellifluous harps and a visualization led by Sylvie grounded us in Gaia as we moved into the third gathering. It was a day of dangerous acts, learning, creating new music and words and feeling the power of commitment expressed through singing, laughter and tears. From the circle's tentative beginnings over two months ago we have evolved to a place of connection and intimacy and a reperceiving of the Earth. Carolyn wove her sensuous magic around the circle and brought us further along this road less traveled.

Laura Sewall ends an article on ecological perception with a message from Gaia. It says what I want to express about our evolving circle.

A Message from Gaia
The earth speaks to us through our bodies and our psyches. She often cries and many of us feel her tears and see her pain. Recognizing her voice is perception. I experience it as a force of nature, entering me like light. In other moments, I feel as if Mercury has delivered a handwritten message from Gaia, signed by all the relations. Their signatures are patterns in snow, or squawks and screeches, or abstract forms shifting into patterns and symbols, a sense of the sacred. In those moments, it feels as if the earth is calling for me to awaken. The Earth calls continually. She calls us with beauty, sometimes truly breathtaking, sometimes heart wrenching, and always provocative and visceral. We are embedded in a multi-dimensional web of beauty. It is where we are now. We are also at the interface between an objectified world and post modern relativism, between a kind of cultural arrogance and unified traditions. Matthew Fox calls it an "age of weddings" Martha Heyneman refers to this era as a "moment of grace" in which great transformations may occur. The moment calls for the reperceiving of our Earth, for perceiving the myriad and magical relations that may inform an ecological ethic. If we are receptive to the ways in which the landscape speaks to us, or the ways in which perception serves as a channel for communion, we may reawaken and preserve a sense of human integrity within the family of all relations.

From The Skill of Ecological Perception by Laura Sewall In 'Ecopsychology, Restoring the earth,
Healing the mind' Edited by Theodore Roszak, Mary E. Gomes and Allen D. Kanner

Michelle Jay

Impressions of GAIA day with Carolyn, November 16th

women with hearts flung open
soulful, joyful singing
warm hugs and shining tears
ebullient smiles

the rousing call of keyboard
gentle grace of harps
drum and didgeridoo

a wild-hearted muse entreating, cajoling

sitting like school girls
hot bowls of soup embraced,
as one another
offerings of self
each caring for the whole

strolling amidst the wonder of Gaia
past swollen streams,
spent mushroom heads
leaves crackling underfoot
the smell of earth renewing
laying her glorious fronds to rest
air still with winters' hushed kiss

anger and fear

profound appreciation for our earth mother
and all the precious lives
she holds

deep gratitude for who we are when gathered together
as women
as lovers of this life

"to go rightly in this world is to be free" (c.mcdade)

Photos of Gathering 3

Nathalie Lefrancois

I have to say that what I had expected from the gathering (a sense of unity) has definitely been sensed all week. Also a profound feeling of understanding on how unity makes us feel supported. Supported in what we do, supported in who we are and in what we have to give to this world. Unity makes us feel lighter.

Marion Coppleston

A very enjoyable day: all that singing! Sometimes the power built up and I felt goose bumps, or an emotional release with a few tears. I enjoyed the food, the sharing with other women in conversations at lunch and during the walk, the incredible calm wisdom of Carolyn and her ability to speak and sing that wisdom out into the world, the gathering at Gail's, Paula's song and her incredible voice and movements, the realization that we all have something to offer. The songs have been weaving in and out of my consciousness all week. I am happy to be close to nature.

Melissa Mullen

A few thoughts on the week-end. It was so wonderful. Carolyn is so clear in her vision and undistracted by the clutter and confusion of daily life, or so it seems. She is able to call forth the best in all of us. That day was a shot in the arm for our fledgling group. I'm hopeful about where we are going. Oh, I did find the David Suzuki book in New Market. It also a very hopeful book - each person's efforts do have meaning.

Closing Prayer from PEI Gathering
written by Nathalie Lefrancois

SPIRIT OF THE LAND - Help us to be aware of the elemental beauty of the land, to respect it and to live in harmony with it. The land nurtures all that is living here, with so much love and abundance. Help us mould this clay, within us and around us. Spirit of the land, you are like the structure of our own body.

SPIRIT OF THE WATER - Cradle us in your waves. Like gentle ripples in the stillness of the water, our voices harmonise, reverberate and reach one another. Help us create fluidity, within us and around us. Spirit of the water, you are our movements, our dance in infinity.

SPIRIT OF THE AIR - Teach us how to connect us all with one another - One breath, one essence - Boundless - Transparent. Help us transform and purify with each breath we take and to create unity, within and around us. Spirit of the air you are our own soul.

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