Gathering 6
February 16
MacPhail Woods, PEI


We had a wonderful spacious singing Sunday afternoon in the cold sun of mid winter. The day stretched before us and seemed to keep stretching as we sang and talked and planned and mused about land, and poetry and readings that came into the circle.

We began with a focused time on Beginners…and Maureen helped with some notes on the piano, and some direction. As soon as we began singing it was evident that today was a good day to be singing…we sounded GOOD! We went through each part…then put it together and went over it several times.

Then Kele read us some 'waking earth' words from an email from a friend in Greece, where 'the almond trees have begun their tentative blooming, the wild dill and lush oranges have peaked, and butter yellow of chamomile's heart are dotting the fields'… then she shared a 'waking earth' cake made from a recipe sent by her friend…the cake was dark with molasses, dense and delicious.. We ate it with colourful forks and dishes brought by Melissa, and banana gelato brought by Sandra… quite a treat!

Anne Taylor Murray read us some of her favorite stanzas from a poem by Vita Sackville West called The Land… and Margie brought and shared some short readings from the book Small Wonders by Barbara Kingsolver that looked at 'relationship' with land.

We sang and sang and sang some more…. Then Jan did an update on some details of the project that are happening, and we had a discussion about the Gathering next month in Halifax. (See notes below for details)

Melissa and Kele brought us information on the Island Nature Trust. Melissa, Kele and Jan had met with Kate MacQuarrie this past month and had a wonderful conversation with her about all their programmes, and the work that they do. Two interesting volunteer programmes that they run are the Piping Plover Nesting watch in the spring, and their Land Guardian programme that involves visiting some of the properties that the Island Nature Trust hold…and walking, checking for birds, animals, any areas of concern. There seemed to be considerable interest in these programmes. O Beautiful Gaia PEI will become members of the PEI Land Trust. Jan will send in our 'family' membership. We will learn more about their work from their newsletters...

A large number of women agreed that it would be a great thing to sing at the Earth Day concert on April 22. Women thought it would be a good occasion to sing The Longing Series... We will have a few practice sessions after March 8 weekend and we will have the April gathering as well to work on it. Katherine said we could use her laptop and she could get a projector from work and Jan will try and get the species photos into the powerpoint format so we can show the slides of the species as we sing...

Then Lise guided us through a practice session of the Longing Series… to which we added a NEW VERSE written by Marion....

We are the windsong
Drifting o'er grasses on dune
Waves lapping redcliffs
Washed by the moon

and we ended our day with some appreciation's and stepped out into the cold beautiful leavings of the day…complete with setting sun and rising full moon… to accompany us home…

Notes and Updates

Music
  • reminder to spend some time with the words and music this month… work toward singing without the words and music… Practice tapes and CD...good to work with.
  • Final song selection will take place very soon after March 8 weekend.
  • Frith will bring a new song she has written to next gathering for community to consider for the recording
  • Recording space still being located… committee in Halifax is working on this
  • We have found a fiddler (Mairi Rankin), a bass player (Pam Mason) and we are working on other musicians to accompany the singing.
  • Begin to think of any 'creature sounds' that we might want to accompany us on the recording! The creature sounds should be authentic to our region.
IWD Weekend

  • Billets, rides, and other details worked out with those present. Jan has list and will forward information to Ann Manicom in Halifax who is coordinating the billeting with NS women.
  • NS women will take care of Friday eve refreshments and Saturday pot luck, and brown bag lunches for their billets. We will return the favour in May when NS women come here!
  • Cost for weekend is $40. Please let Jan know if this is not possible for you at this time.
Presale

  • Presale letter will be out soon. Start thinking of friends and family who you might ask to purchase an advance copy of the recording.
  • Presale letter will also go out over the email to women who have gathered with Carolyn over the ears in Canada and US.
  • Presale sales will be the main source of funding for all recording costs. The cost of the double CD will be $25 whether you live in Canada or the US.
  • Just for an example...we are approximately 45 women in this region. If each of us pre-sold 5 CD's, it would raise $5625. If each of us could sell 10, we would raise $11,250.







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