O Beautiful Gaia Gathering 4.....

It was a beautiful sunny day....and there were a good number of women who came early to do the Labyrinth...(which truly, was a work of art...Kate made the way out of double spaced coloured popscicle sticks...that moved with the chakra colours from the beginning to the centre...and at each turn and each straight way, there was gannet, and crow, and osprey, and turtle and shell and rock and leaf and bark and candle and feather...and all things of beauty placed with intention and creativity and care...it was an amazing and wonderful gift to our circle)...and also to share a lunch and social time before we began...then other women arrived in smiles and stomping the snow off their boots as they came in the door with the blazing sun shining and sparkling on the clean cut glass... We began with O Beautiful Gaia, and some harp accompaniement, and moved into a round bringing in our gratitude, a meditation of breathe and expansion, and a reading of Beginners with eyes shut to feel the images. We welcomed Kelle Redmond to the gathering. As we had suggested last gathering, women brought an article from home which was to send home with another woman for the month....All the objects were placed on the centre table, and everyone wandered and picked something that drew them....then we went around the circle and women spoke of their object as we came round to it in the circle of women holding the objects in their laps. We sang and our singing was enthusiastic and wonderful...not polished , but exuberant and loving, full of laughter sometimes and sometimes inattention...but then focusing again...

Lise led us all in a 'vocal/body' warmup using the scale, and body movements that corresponded with each Chakra....then we, who were only 14, and only 4 of us who had sung it before, worked for 3/4 hour on Beginners using the recording from last month in NS...it was quite amazing...and wonderful.... and inspirational even...we certainly aren't ready for the microphone in the recording studio...but hearts are there!

Then because everyone wanted to walk the Labyrinth we split into two groups and half went outside to make snow tracks and half stayed in to walk the Labyrinth... then we switched...this of course took way longer than the time we'd set out for the walk...so when we came in we had a kind of mammoth discussion, announcement, talking session (See section below notes, for all the announcements etc written out clearly!) where there was such enthusiasm and keen willingness; and then we drummed and chanted and then drummed again with a few women that Kate had invited to join us for the last 1/2 hour. We closed with Paula's song....Wild Hearted.

I felt full up when I left the woods and turned on to the highway...and women's smiles and goodness stayed with me and are with me still... I felt a real community of not only women, but energy, of intent... though the group was small...it had much integrity and allowed each of us to be there in our place and in the space with each other.

Information, Announcements and Decisions made at gathering 4

(There is lots to read here...but please read, especially those of you who did not attend the gathering. Thanks everyone! )

-Claire Miller from NS group has offered to make rehearsal tapes for us, these will consist of all parts for songs with parts, and the melody line for all other songs we intend to put on the CD. She will also add to the tape the practice tape of "Beginners" from Norma Luccock. I have asked Clair to send us 20 copies of the practice tape. Jan will send out an email when the cassettes arrive so women can come and pick them up to do some listening and personal rehearsing before the next gathering. If women can contribute a toonie when she picks up the cassette, that will cover the cost of the cassette which I will send back to Clair.

-Carol Putnam has compiled a book on Atlantic endangered species which is available as a resource for us. It is a beautiful gift to the Atlantic Canada groups...and it will travel back and forth between NS and PEI and women can take it home between gatherings to spend some focused time with it....

-Chris Loughlin of the Atlantic New England group has a small sub-group looking at environmental aspects. They sent us a statement which reflects their thoughts so far. This was handed out at the gathering. They would like us to share our thoughts and intentions with them around our environmental/land/legacy process. Katherine Clough volunteered to write up a response to Chris and to be the ongoing link with Atlantic New England and Great Lakes Basin on this issue.

-Carolyn will be here in Atlantic Canada again on the weekend of March 8 and 9. Bedford United Church gym in Halifax has been booked for all day Saurday March 8 for our gathering with NS Women and possibly/hopefully a few women from Nfld. NS women will provide billets for us for the weekend, so we will need to give them a list of who will be able to attend that weekend. There will be an informal gathering on the Friday night...March 7, an all day gathering on Saturday, and probably a 2-3 hour gathering on Sunday morning. As well...Mar. 8 is International Women's Day and there is a cabaret/concert of women's music at Pier 21 Sat. eve which we could attend as a group. Some of the NS women will be performing at that Cabaret in a group called the Aeolean Singers. We are bringing this weekend to your attention this early, in the hopes that as many PEI women as possible can arrange their lives to go for the weekend...or part of the weekend. We will work on arranging car pools etc...closer to the date...but mark it off in your new Calendars now!! We are also hoping that Kate can recreate the labyrinth again for the gathering there on Saturday.

- Brenda MacLaughlin (Women~Land~Spirit collective Saskatchewan) has offered to coordinate the pre-sale of CD's. She will also create brochures. She has asked for 1 contact person for each region - this would involve emailing/mailing brochures to available lists of women and communicating with Brenda re brochure etc., collecting and keeping track of money. Anne LeBlanc volunteered to be our liason with Brenda's PRE SALE TEAM!! We hope to have a NS/NB volunteer very soon.

-We received $847 from Edmonton/Western women to deposit in the Gaia bank account from sales of O Beautiful Gaia fundraising CD's. at their November gathering with Carolyn.

-Jen Melanson from the NS group is writing a proposal about the O Beautiful Gaia project for the CBC program Up Front, a 15 minute feature program which is aired one morning per week. If accepted, there is a fee paid by CBC. She will keep us posted on this. Jen has also got the very basic bones of an Atlantic Canada O Beautiful Gaia web page started. You can check it out at http://www.gis.net/~surtsey/mcdade/gaia-index.html any suggestions, contributions, etc are most welcome and you can contact Jen by email, using her link at the bottom of the page. Jan will work on the PEI page over the holidays, so hopefully there will be alot more to 'browse' in the near future.

-In order to spend some more focused and intentional time on conservation/land/legacy discussion as well as do lots of singing, the group decided to increase the time for our next gathering. The January 11 gathering will be from 10am - 5pm. Michelle Jay and Margie Loo volunteered to help with planning for the day.

-Melissa and Michelle will be at the Farmer's Market on Saturday Dec 14, with an O Beautiful Gaia Booth. Jan will make some small posters and a handout to give people who are interested in the project. Women from NS donated some items for our table. PEI women can drop off donations at Jan and Michelles house at 89 Green St. Charlottetown during the week.

-Everyone agreed to work on learning the words for I sing the Longing, Beginners and Awakening for January

-On Carolyn's request, Charlotte and Jan have been directing some energy into finding a woman fiddler to weave some instrumental fiddling into the CD. One of the women in NS group...Suzanne Litke has a lead on a fiddler who might be interested...it was interesting to find out the fiddlers name is Janet Munsen....who is from Rustico, PEI!! and has played with Lennie Gallant over the years, as well as recorded some of her own work, and a just recently a Celtic Mass for the Sea with Scott MacMillan. Charlotte will contact Janet and invite her to the NS gathering in February, and hopefully she will also be able to join us in March for part of the Gathering with Carolyn, and the two groups together.

-Work is still ongoing to set a date and location for the recording. The preferred date is still July 5/6 weekend, but it will depend in the end if the recording studio we will use is available on those dates. We should have more definate information on this by next gathering.

These are exciting and busy times...thanks to everyone for their enthusiasm, willingness, and great energy... I find us all so amazing and wondrous. Looking forward to seeing you all Jan 11. Have a good, full and happy solstice/christmas season. May your hearts open and fill with the beauty of this time and all of us in this time. ox Jan

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