I’ve just returned from the third annual New Brunswick Womyn’s Summit. As I’ve mentioned so many times before, the Summit is the brainchild of one of my closest and dearest friends, Natalie Arsenault, and this year, the gathering was magical. I brought Treva with me, so she wouldn’t miss the birth of her sibling, and even though we missed my dear Sister Maryn Green’s full-day Midwifery workshop, we managed to arrive on Thursday evening. We were given queenly quarters in one of the smaller yurts and it was a perfect dwelling-place for the weekend.
I spent the entire summit almost having a baby, and Treva danced and pranced and collected pounds and pounds of quahog and oyster shells, and made a million new friends. I remembered what it was like when women lived in tribes, in tents, in love. I know, don’t go getting nostalgic for something that may or may not have existed. But it did, for us, during these three charmed days. We learned about birth and plants and self and other. Herbalist extraordinare Savayda Jarone came from Halifax to lead us on a moonlit herb-walk, and we spoke to the plants and opened ourselves to the wisdom of their ethereal voices, and we collected evening primrose and allowed its vibration to permeate a solution in the moonlight and we made a flower essence whose use is said to catalyze emotional healing, and to repair trauma related to parenting, bonding, emotional repression, and a feeling of being unwanted. This resonated with me so much, because it was an adjustment to come to terms with this pregnancy, especially for Lee (baby, you are loved). I have always had a longstanding love for, and interest in, plant healing. I have always used herbs myself and for my family, and in my practice, for clients, etc., but I don’t have the kind of really deep knowledge that I would like to, and it was wonderful to be exposed to a master in this way. Soon, I would like to create space in my life to really learn more, more profoundly.
In the afternoon, Treva and I were resting in our yurt, and we were serenaded outside by the most beautiful music–chanting to Tara from my dear friend Pam, and in the evening, the meandering gorgeousness of Suzanne’s guitar and songwriting and Dominique’s haunting, perfect warble and soar. Nat also surprised me by playing the guitar and singing so beautifully.
Kate and Odette and Shannon loved me and this sweet mysterious baby with their healing hands, and everyone, but especially Courtney and Rowan, loved Treva and mothered her gently, while she ran wonderfully wild.
The food was some of the best, most nourishing, most delectable I have ever tasted, not least because it was made with so much love by Lolita, whose presence was soft and strong and salty and patient and kind, and who worked tirelessly to nourish us.
We danced and we sang.
I reunited with old friends and made many new ones. I was incredibly fortunate to have been able to connect with beautiful wise woman and midwife Julimaude from Sherbrooke Quebec, and of course, I met Maryn Green for the first time face to face. Maryn is as wonderful (if not more so), as she comes across in her fabulous Indiebirth podcasts and blog, and I think she also had a fantastic time meeting our east coast tribe of New Brunwick women.
I did not have a baby, although I thought I was going to, throughout the summit. Because of my state of continuous intermittent birthing, I decided not to lead a workshop at all, and that was perfect for me, for this year.
On Sunday, I wept as we closed our shining circle, and I lingered far too long packing the car, and I cried on the way home.
I can’t wait for next year.