O Beautiful Gaia ~ PEI
Notes from January 11, 2002

Organizers: Clare Waddell, Michelle Jay, Margie Loo, Jan Devine

Although we had a lengthened day for this month’s gathering…it seemed the time fairly flew…and the day was over before we could blink…The soft snow that fell the night before, slowed everything down in the morning…as snow falling is bound to do….and so we were all assembled and singing ‘O Beautiful Gaia’ at 10:45am instead of the 10 am planned start to the day….as Paula Foley pulled in from her long drive from St. John, NB…to cheers and applause….

We were a wonderful group gathered…but missed Kate, Marion, Carol, Charlotte and Margaret…who for various reasons had to send their regrets…

The morning was a beautiful sunny day…ground, white and smooth with fresh snow…we were the first tracks made into MacPhail Woods…except for a 4-legged one who had sauntered up the road sometime earlier in the morning…

The morning passed with some beautiful singing…We sung through all of the songs that are options for the CD, that we haven’t sung before…as well as some old favorites…We learned Quita’s Song, and the Chant: Una Maraville, which are two favorites of the NS women…we sung Awakening, So Great a Love, You can Never fall out, If Every Woman…and then we moved into a Conversation around the Land / Environment / Leaving a Legacy part of the project. This was a good beginning, a good ground created amongst us…for something that will last and endure long beyond the recording date…

Here are some of the highlights of the conversations.

The organizers of the day, had come up with 5 categories, after looking at all the brainstorms ideas of previous gatherings…These were posted on the wall. Women were asked to go where their hearts’ lead them and form small groups around one of these categories…and then follow a process outlined in Joanna Macy’s Book Coming Back to Life to discuss, and come up with a 24 hour plan, and then next steps from there.

Here are the categories:

Join / participate in existing land conservancy groups
Creativity /Temporary Land Art
Education / Celebration
Leave a legacy
Gaia sustenance / growing food / gardening

After some amount of animated discussion!! …we moved into 2 small groups.

Creativity / Temporary Land Art
Leave a legacy

We spent some time in these groups with these questions:

  • What specific project / actions will you undertake?
  • What resources do you have that will help you?
  • What resources do you need to acquire?
  • What might stop you?
  • How will you overcome this?
  • What will you do in the next 24 hours to move toward your goal and what is / are the next steps for your group?
Women were asked to report back on question 1, and 6, and this happened in the afternoon after a good lunch break, where many women took the opportunity to walk, lie down, romp in the new snow…and get some fresh air and sunshine.

Reporting Back

Leave a Legacy

Land! At least 4 acres - two part approach (do some research into trust options / investigate buying our own land)


  • Michelle and Maureen to work on a first draft of our vision as Gaia Women
  • Kele to contact Island Nature Trust and try and set up a meeting with them for our next gathering.
  • Melissa to start checking real estate
Creativity / Temporary Land Art Create sacred spaces - 3 part approach

  • Find land that needs us / or a situation to speak to, and go sing / be with / bless / give healing energy. Develop network to get word out.
  • Create / choose our own land spaces and create there ie) labyrinth, beach sculpture, etc…
  • Identify and create network of Gaia lands / celebrate our sacred places / spaces and recognize with ritual.
  • Lise to inquire re: possibility of land for labyrinth that she knows of
  • Sandra to inquire re: land in Iris
  • Anne to call and talk about possibility of Labyrinth at MacPhail woods
  • Paula to contact Bethany Doyle re: Sister’s of St Martha land
  • Pix will find out some information about Earth Day Celebration in April
3 goals: care for ourselves, nourish the land, challenge what is wrong

The rest of the day we worked on Wild Hearted with Paula, Beginners with Clare, sang Among the Many, The Earth is our Mother, and heard updates from Jan (see below)

Due to the darkness falling and the desire of women to navigate out of the snowy parking lot before dark, we postponed a teaching session/discussion with Anne Taylor Murray and Katherine Clough, as well as a reading from Barbara Kingsolver’s Small Wonders that Margie Loo had prepared, as well as a session on The Longing Series, until the next gathering in Feb. Kele and Sandra volunteered to organize the next gathering.

We sang We Shall Be Moved as a closing, and as we were singing, women returned their ‘loaned’ objects from last gathering to their owners…

Updates (Please make sure you take note of some new dates!)

  1. Recording dates have been changed to July 12, 13. Location still not found. Rod Sneddon will be the Technician.

  2. June 7/8 date for gathering with NS women and Carolyn in PEI has been changed to May 31/June 1 weekend. This is confirmed with Carolyn. We had originally suggested the weekend of May 24/25 but this is United Church Conference weekend and many women from both groups are committed to attend this.

  3. We are continuing to work on finding a fiddler. Original idea – Janet Munson is not available. Charlotte is checking into some other suggestions.

  4. Web site for PEI and all regions are up and running.

  5. Jan asked for an idea of who would be able to attend the March 8/9 gathering in NS with Carolyn, in order to give NS woman arranging billets an idea of numbers. Jan will give Ann in NS the information. Right now it looks as if almost everyone can attend. There are still a few who are uncertain and a couple who know they cannot attend. Jan will check with those who were not here. Jan will get back to Melissa about the possibility of having a room for children at the gathering, so that women with small children would have the option of coming with them and bringing a helper.

  6. Jan went over the song selection process to date. Women will continue to send in their choices if they have not done so.

  7. Deadline to submit any new writings to group for consideration to be on the CD is next gathering.

  8. Website for Earth Charter website is http://www.earthcharter.org/ This is a wonderful statement sent to us by Ruth Blaser in Saskatchewan.

  9. Jan gave financial update, and told of card and sage bundles that arrived from Ruth Blaser .

  10. Notes for all our gatherings are posted on the PEI web page under 'Gatherings'. Any other writings that come out of gatherings can also be posted. Send any responses, writings to Jan.

Here are the words for ‘If Every Woman’

(a group of Gaia PEI women will sing this at the Peace Rally on the 19th. We will meet a 1:30 in Memorial Hall at Confederation Centre before the rally to go over it once. We may do Quita's Song as well. )

If every woman in the world had her mind set on freedom
If every woman in the world had a sweet dream of peace
If every woman of every nation young and old, each generation
Held her hands out in the name of love, there would be no more war.

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