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
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
-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
- 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