When the women find their chairs and the shuffling ceases,
A woman walks to the center and lights the candle,
A woman rings the bell and the space becomes sacred.
Maybe, for me, chairs will shuffle forward a bit or back a tad,
so every woman sees every other woman’s eyes.
A safe container forms as ancient as circles around the fire,
and some women will cry because they are safely held.
My heart has come to terms with not being there this one year because I am ill,
but the remarkable list and mental images of the hundreds of women who have sat in circle in eight past Gather the Women gatherings form in my mind. They warm my heart and calm my soul:
St. Joseph, Minnesota in 2008
Seattle, Washington in 2009
Burlingame, California in 2010
Racine, Wisconsin in 2011
Peterborough, Ontario, Canada in 2012
Lake Tahoe, California in 2013
Rapid City, South Dakota in 2014
Tampa, Florida in 2015
and Los Gatos, California in 2016.
The founding mothers of Gather the Women had a vision of an international network of women’s hearts, minds and action. That history is recounted on the website and etched in my heart.