The Native American prayer of the Directions is usually used in our opening ceremonies at the Gathering. Each direction (North, South, East, and West) have certain properties, elements and concepts associated with it. By calling these spirit guides into our circle, we can access their energies and protect our sacred space.
The season of summer will begin on June 21st in the Northern hemisphere. As we approach this season, what comes to mind for you? Of course, hot days and nights, but perhaps a bit more freedom, especially to enjoy the fresh air outdoors. The South corresponds to the element of fire, to energy, to noontime, and of course, to summer. Also, it is the place of creativity, passion and action.
This may be the time to feed your passions and become more creative, or you may want to start a physical exercise program to enhance your life. It may be the time to add play in some form. You might stand facing the South and ask the Spirit Keepers of the South what gifts it would like to give you in this season of summer.
In the fall issue of Womankind there is a challenge to the readers to come up with an activity that they have always wanted to do, but never could get started for a variety of reasons. So I offer you an opportunity to come up with some activity to do for 5 minutes a day for one week. It might be gardening, journaling, baking something different, making a craft or playing a game. Write the activity down and explore your feelings. Jan Phillips in her book, Marry Your Muse, says “Committing to our creativity is an act of faith, a promise that we will keep at it despite our fears and failings and despite whatever obstacles we find in our paths.”
See you in Bellingham.
“A flower falls, even though we love it; and a weed grows, even though we do not love it.” Dogen Zenji
Many of my life lessons have come from gardening and the above quote is perhaps my hardest, and best lesson. At this time of year, the weeds are constant and seem to be exponential in their growth. My vegetable garden is a fraction of the size it used to be because I really just want to tend to the flowers. I try to attack some of the weeds every day; a few days unattended and they take over. My mate, Mike, said that if I didn’t have the joy from the flowers, it would be a Sisyphean task .. all work and no reward.
The earliest spring blossoms are Lenten rose and snowdrops. The purple and yellow crocus usher in the tulips which didn’t do very well this year even though I planted over 60 bulbs last fall. Daffodils, hyacinth, iris, peonies, baptisia, poppies … and oh, the hostas. If I can keep the deer away, they become the champion of my summer garden surrounded by whatever annuals I’ve decided to plant. I practice “plant rescue” by going to Lowe’s discount shelves and bringing home scraggly looking plants that usually just need some TLC.
I inherited this passion from my mother and have passed it on to my daughter. Seeing my daughter, dirty hands and knees, kneeling in her flower beds takes me back to my childhood when I watched my mother doing the same thing. It brings me a sense of continuity and hope.
Gardening is meditation. I wish I could fix all the world’s problems by pulling out a few weeds that just keep growing. I can’t. But I can pull a few. And I can keep planting flowers and enjoy their beauty even though I know they’ll eventually fall.
If it’s Saturday night (September 29), it’s Follies time. This is our great and awesome talent show at the Gathering featuring women who want to perform. We usually have song, dance, music, skits, comedy and a combined group sing from past Gatherings.
Please sign up for the Follies via this link by August 15th. A separate evening for sharing our own creations of poetry and short stories is planned, so, for the Follies, your act should be one of the following: singing, dancing, comedy, or music. Please complete the Follies application form.
Transportation Options to Bellingham
Here are some transportation options to Bellingham:
- By plane to Seattle-Tacoma Airport (SeaTac), then Bellair Airport Shuttle to Bellingham with a scheduled stop at our hotel, the Four Points by Sheraton Bellingham Hotel and Conference Center. The cost is around $70 round trip for seniors. The trip is about a two and a half hours each way.
- By Alaska Airlines directly into Bellingham International Airport,then using the free Hotel shuttle to the Hotel by calling them (360-671-1011) when you arrive.
- By car – the distance between Seattle and Bellingham is 89 miles, a little over two hours. Exit 253 on I-5.