A Message from Susan Ann
The mornings now in St. George are absolutely gorgeous. I have the French doors in my bedroom flung wide open so that the evening stars and the moon illuminate my sleep and the birds —chattering and chirping, flying from one bird feeder to another, to the water fountain and back —awaken me with their bird songs long before 6 am. As my eyes begin to open, the words of one of my favorite childhood songs accompany my awaking.
“In the leafy treetops the birds sing good morning.
They’re first to see the sun, they must tell everyone.
In the leafy treetops the birds sing good morning.”
And then, I hear my lovely little Ivin, my orange canary, greeting the day as well with his song, his trills, and his way of saying it is time to arise. It’s a new day.
For me, today, summer has officially begun and it is time to manifest the promises I have made to myself in behalf of Crones Counsel. With my cup of chai in hand, I stride to my workspace and sit in front of the computer. Once more, I look at the Counsel brochure I have been diligently creating for four days. I have solicited input from the Counsel Mothers, many of the membership, my knitting circle, and the members of my Thursday Love Class. It has gone through at least ten iterations. I deem it finished. Enough is now enough. Then I switch windows to the 2014 Gathering insert. I feel myself smiling. I feel the sun rise in my heart. I love our theme this year. It simply makes me smile and laugh and thrill at the thought of what riches will happen when we gather with a theme like “Luminous with Age.”
Women here in St. George are looking forward to this event with great anticipation. I imagine there will be many new women for all of you to meet and love. I imagine that many of them will have never seen anything quite like what we do. And, I know that there are others who have been waiting a long time for something like “a woman’s gathering” to happen in this oasis of western desert. So, the brochures and Gathering insert will travel with me now – I have something in my head, something in my heart, and now something in my hand to leave behind as a reminder that they must register, invite their friends to join us, and make plans to show up in November.
The Crone Mothers will make the brochures and insert available to you by email. You may then print them out on your home computers or take them on flash drive to the printer. Or, you may contact me and I will mail you the number of already-made-brochures with inserts you think you can distribute. Let’s carry this great organization to new heights.
I also promised a report on last years’ Circles of Inquiry this month. Please look below for that report.
My best wishes to all of you for a glorious summer. Enjoy these long days and nights. Luxuriate in them. I’ll be thinking of you all, as always, when my Ivin sings his song.
Our dear Rita Bresnahan, a long-time attendee of Crones Counsel, was visiting in St. George, Utah, over the Memorial Day weekend. She came to visit one of our Founding Mothers, Ramona Adams. Rita has written a new book titled Listening to the Corn: The heartbeats of life all around. Some of the St. George Crones and their friends and family were fortunate enough to have an afternoon with Rita at Ramona’s home to hear her read excerpts from her book. It was nothing short of delightful.
Rita explained that her new book is “a collection of stories, of poetic moments that have presented themselves in living color before my very eyes…The “poems” that pop up often feel like holy moments.”
And, I can tell you, we shared in those “holy moments.” Especially, the section in her book designated as “We Are Crone.” Within this section are five stories and they are wonderful! Rita is a wise woman, and she shares her wisdom freely. Hopefully, Rita will be able to attend our gathering in November and we all can hear from her first-hand.
Isn’t it just so grand to be in the company of such wonderful women?
Committee Reports for Crones Counsel 2014 Gathering
The women who have volunteered to chair the opening and closing ceremonies, wisdom circles, workshops, and the Crone Follies have all been busy making preparations for the event. All the committees have a plan and are enthusiastic and excited.
A CALL TO VOLUNTEER: If you want to volunteer to help on any of those committees, please contact Carol Friedrich at email@example.com. For the hospitality committee contact Janet Morrissey firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have received some magnificent poetry from our members. Virginia Tennies, one of our San Diego crones sent this splendid poem.
LUMINOUS WITH AGE
Look for us in the
Meadows of wildflowers
We are the mothers of spring
Luminous with Age
Women of the earth
We rise up singing
Dance on the mountain tops
Luminous with Age
We bring fire and water
We bring light
We bring laughter and surprises
Luminous with Age
From the source we come
We bring awareness – wisdom
We bring patience and courage
How sweet is the season of our time.
Virginia Tennies March 2014
The St. George Municipal Airport is a small airport and it is incredibly easy to navigate. Truly. However, there are only small numbers of flights daily. You must fly into St. George from Salt Lake City, Utah, or Denver, Colorado. There are no flights from Las Vegas. Below are the flight schedules so that you may more easily begin to plan your trip. You may rent a car at the airport if you desire to do so. From the airport to the hotel you will travel approximately 15 miles and it will take about 22 minutes.
Monday – Friday Flights
St. George Taxi: 435-628-8320
It is imperative, please, that you let Susan Ann know if you are flying for driving to St. George. First, we are attempting to arrange shuttle service from the airport to the hotel for those who will need it. Secondly, we need to know how many of you will have a car and if you are willing to transport women to an event off-site.
These details might seem trivial or insignificant. However, we want to make this experience seamless and easy. Susan Ann will be confirming arrangements for travel to and from the hotel for those of you who are flying and who will not be renting a car.
So, when you register, please also send an email to Susan Ann letting her know your travel plans. email@example.com Or, call her 435 272 2009. This will be greatly appreciated. Hugs and blessings!
The words “Luminous with Age?” They jump out at me now. Luminous words. I never noticed the word “luminous,” or its derivative, until Crones Counsel made the decision to use the theme “luminous with age.”
Often the word pops up very unexpectedly. One would expect to see it describing a cosmetic for the skin, or in a spiritual writing, but when it pops out from nowhere, it’s surprising. In describing a character, an author described the character as shyly luminous, or another author said a person is luminous with pride.
When “our word” discovers me, I whisper to myself, “I am luminous with age. Crones Counsel is luminous with age.” I have made myself a small card with those words on it, placing it on my desk to remind me of my inner self. I Am luminous with age.
I found this saying by Deepak Chopra on a Hallmark card. It seems to say it all.
When we learn to live at the level of the soul,
we see that the best, most luminous part of ourselves
is connected to all the rhythms of the universe.
We would truly know ourselves as the
Miracle-makers we are capable of being.
June 21st. The longest day of the year. In New York that is 15 hours of daylight. It is twenty-one hours of daylight in Fairbanks, Alaska. In Sweden, apart from Christmas, midsummer, midsommar is the most important holiday in the Swedish calendar. And for some, the very most important. The successful midsummer never-ending lunch party formula involves flowers in your hair, dancing around a pole, singing songs while drinking unsweetened, flavored schnapps and downing a whole load of pickled herring, still served with delightful new potatoes, chives and sour cream. Wow! And in the North Pole, the sun does not set at all.
At Summer Solstice the sun sets the highest in the sky. The rays are situated almost vertically overhead like shooting arrows warming us with tickles of solar heat. It is a brilliantly potent pinnacle of the year. At the time of Summer Solstice the sun seems to stand still in the sky, which is what solstice means — “sun stand still.”
So many indigenous and ancient peoples have celebrated this glorious time of year. Remember Stonehenge? The caves of the Chumash Indians that they called “House of the Sun?” The Aztecs of Mexico, the Mesopotamian Mayas, the Incas of Peru, the Chinese and the Egyptians? Many of these civilizations built architectural masterpieces in honor of the Solstice.
Donna Henes (Celestially Auspicious Occasions, 1996) tells us that the “actual lighting of bonfires is by far the most prevalent —practically universal – practice for celebrations of the Solstice.” She further writes that: These sun festivals are a celebration of our own part in the propagation of life. Like the sun and the sap, the libido also rises. Out of its basket it surges, the charmed serpentine call of the wild. No sissy spring fever, this. But full-fledged, full-bodied, full of pluck, magenta plush lust. Robust. Randy, willing, and able. The season surging in their pulse, people too, are quite ripe by the solstice. Plump and juicy, and ready to pick.
As your Counsel Mothers, we hope that you will find some time to celebrate with loved ones and friends. Below are eight ways CNN has suggested you celebrate the Solstice. We think they are just fine……
1. Eat bizarre food
2. Honor tradition
3. Sing songs and dance until the sun sets
4. Watch the sun (not) set
5. Burn, baby, burn
6. Get in costume
7. Party. Hard.
8. Hit the beach
We dare you! What would a Crone version of this look like? We want pictures.
Now, we all want to hear just what you will do to celebrate. Tell all to Susan Ann and she will share your celebrations with the membership in the next newsletter.
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
Last year in Asilomar at our Gathering the women met in circles to discuss for areas of inquiry that would be used to determine the future planning of Gatherings and to help guide the leadership in sustaining Crones Counsel as an organization.
Each woman had a chance to speak and each circle had a leader who reported the results to the Crone Mothers. The results have been read, organized, and are now being shared with the entire membership as promised.
The Board has taken these results under deep consideration and will continue to do so. Feedback from the membership is incredibly important and valuable. We are all in this together.
The results are listed in order of frequency. For example, affirmation and acceptance were spoken of more than any other response as to why women said they come to Counsel. Thus, it was listed first. So, the responses are listed in order of frequency of response. We have highlighted in BLUE the things we think we have been able to accomplish and will continue to implement. The items in GREEN are things we are still working on. PURPLE are items that seem improbable and implausible at this time. Commentary about our progress towards these goals is given in ORANGE.
This was a helpful exercise for the leadership. We thank all of you for bringing yourselves to the circles with such enthusiasm and thoughtfulness. We appreciate all of you. And, none of this can happen without your support. The Report from the Circles of Interest