October 21 – 25, 2009
Simpsonwood Retreat Center
Crones Counsel CCXVII was held at the Simpsonwood Retreat & Conference Center near Atlanta Georgia October 21 – 25. Over 155 women from all parts of the country (and one from England) had a phenomenal experience on the banks of the Chattahoochee River in the Georgia hills. The theme of Transformation, Spiraling Through Life – Within and Without was woven into all activities over the five days.
If I knew how this gathering of elder women would change my life — throw me forcibly outside my box because I was so empty of expectation — I would’ve run out the door. Talk about a light bulb going on! I just spent five stunning days with a group of remarkable Western Women – what I took away from that powerful experience was Love – what I was doing was Intending. And, because I “see” feelings, the image of a button floated up in front of me – it was saffron yellow with red block letters and said, YES I WWIL (Western Women Intending Love). My world flipped inside out. I wrote letters to the Queen of England, Michelle Obama (I remember her loving arm around the Queen), the Dalai Lama, Oprah (Oprah!) — started a website — became more “public” — not easy for such a private person. Now, as I think about this inspiration spreading, I visualize circles of women all over the world — each woman a beautiful pearl, all strung together, interlaced with every other women’s circle — strands and strands of luminescent pearls encircling our precious Mother Earth. Intending love. It’s that simple — and that profound.
Anticipation was high. I was in Atlanta for my fifth Crones Counsel. This gathering was so warmly presented, so well planned; it flowed as if by magic, with glints of genius throughout. I had such a good time I’m still crowing about it. I enjoyed seeing old friends. I loved all the color and the dancers’ silent welcome. The intention card — what a great idea! Highlights included meditation in our wisdom circle, workshops — both spiral dances, writing, plus the art DVD, and partying with my neighbors. I connected with other artists, met wonderful new people, and created a “change purse” to symbolize my personal transformation. I loved the “artsy” table of “shiny” things, especially the jewelry. The stories of the elders were inspiring. The town meeting proved interesting and I spoke up! I caught myself smiling a lot, even at total strangers, as I walked around enjoying a new environment. The follies were creative and funny. The birth canal event, renewing. I departed Atlanta in the warmth of loving friends and friendly strangers. I left with a peaceful, hopeful feeling.
What a blessing we crones are to each other. The dancing was wonderful. None of us ever dance enough.
–Yvonne V. Pennington