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
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
- 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 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.
- 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 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.