An Indian Tipi in Northern Alberta (Nov 2000)

This tipi belonged to the native lady that was on the front cover of the July/August edition. We had travelled to Northern Alberta in the summer of 1959 to pick up Grandad on our way to homestead in Rosswood, a small community north of Terrace. This photograph reminded me of the Indian Summer we just had. It also reminded me to give thanks for my creature comforts; like central heat and indoor plumbing for I wouldn’t want to be living in that Tipi in northern Alberta in the winter. Living in this valley is a great honour and every day I send kisses to the creek that I live beside. It is wonderful just to be alive at this time in history, a time the Hopi’s prophesied as the Shift of the Ages, the coming of the Golden Era. This is forseen as a time of great peace, health and prosperity and the end of the world as we know it today, a time when matriarchal practices will resume as the patriarchal demands fade—a time of great chaos as these two forces redefine society as we know it.

Every day brings with it the busyness of life and recently I have been finishing up the Wise Woman Weekend. We got the thank you cards signed, read through the commendations and feedback forms and had our wrap-up meeting. I baked lasagna and squash and everyone showed up according to her time schedule, for we are all working women who make the time to be together.

Urmi said, “It felt like we were all hidden machinery, just doing what needed to be done as service to all.” I am sure many of our readers have been to either the Spring Festival of Awareness or the Wise Women Weekend, and will attest to the magic that just seems to happens at these events. And yet it doesn’t just happen, it happens because the six of us have worked together for a long time creating the space for the magic to flow. The foundation is strong and as Laurel likes to say “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.” This month I thought I would give you an overview of how a meeting like ours happens and how I see each of us…

We started the meeting by honouring the length of time we have been working together. A heavyweight feat in today’s transient world. Urmi, Laurel and myself joined forces in 1988 to recreate the Spring Festival of Awareness. Nywyn, Marcel and Samarpan joined approximately five to six years ago. I enjoyed listening as each woman spoke from her heart, her observations. They teach me what it means to live in community; to be part of the whole and still retain my individually. The meeting had a smooth flow to it. I find it interesting to see where each person sits and the overall effect the meeting has on me. This year my energy felt charged and renewed. The appreciation of each other’s talents shone through as we discussed the event. It continued with an overall view of what we each liked followed by what we disliked. Then there was discussion on creating the vessel for future weekends. What do we consider to be the essence of the weekend and how can that structure be refined or defined?

Laurel likes to supervise the meetings and together we come up with ideas. Laurel sat on my right side; she has lots of gusto and a good appetite for life and food. She is blessed with the strength of an ox and ploughs through issues with the best of intent but change happens slowly for her. Her heart is full of compassion for she never wants to hurt anyone’s feelings including the long winded speakers who sometimes take over during the Introduction of Workshop Leaders. We had lots of feedback that this needs to be shortened so we discussed many ways this might happen. She does a great job of creating sacred space for our Celebration and Crones.

Urmi sat on my left side, her words of wisdom seem to have a deep impact on me. Her name means Divine Wave, a reputation she lives in most situations. I think her overall energy is calm and determined even though she may not always feel that way. She is working through some deep emotional issues and some days the process of upheaval runs deep. Her observations are very close to her heart, both for herself and for the group. Urmi helps me with the physical reality of setting up the site and then helps out where she is needed, sometimes at the registration desk or in the healing house in between teaching her workshops.

Sitting at the far end was Marcel, my business partner. Her comments are mostly from an intellectual level that is very grounded. I like her honesty and her straight forwardness of practicality. She likes to keep things in order, a full time job, working with me. She organized the Healing House. When two volunteers didn’t show she was unable to help me with overall administration for instead she spent her time keeping people on time for their sessions. She does a good job with all the details but she missed the essence of the weekend so we made some new rules regarding volunteers.

Across the table sat Nywyn, a manifestation from the elemental world. She likes to have fun, joy and knows how to balance that with getting her job done. She lightens the world wherever she walks with her impish laugh resonating around her. She organizes the store and taught a workshop with Samarpan, who sat beside her at the meeting. Samarpan helped with the festival for many years from the sidelines but had never wanted to get involved at the organizational level. Now that she is working for me and doing the registration for the three hundred people who attended she has no real choice. She reminds me of a Zen monk, who has practiced simplicity and letting go. Her head sits squarely on her shoulders and she enjoys the challenge of each problem as it is presented at the meeting or at the event.

Then we have me. I like to work hard, play fair and have an instant judgement of how I see things. This is tempered with my patience, willingness to learn and appreciation of life and all that it has to offer. I love to get lots of things done at the same time and try not to live off my adrenal energy when it gets really hectic. I feel I am guided by a force larger than myself and I take my orders seriously, making sure things get done on time.

Sunday evening we all helped with packing up and putting away our banners and decorations. That is when I am the most grateful to have these five amazing women as allies for they make my job as coordinator easy. This ease allows the magic to happen twice a year, for even the weather has been perfect and people leave the site filled with a new awe
of what it means to be a human being.

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