28 October 2019
Savoring the 15th Anniversary
The 15th anniversary conference was indeed an extravaganza! Over a thousand women delighted in coming together for our 15th year of this strong, supportive sisterhood honoring ourselves, the plants, and the Earth. For the 15th anniversary, many women whose friends had been encouraging them to come for years, joined us for the first time. Others who have been with us for one or more conferences over the years, returned to immerse themselves once again in this unique experience of woman-centered learning and connection.
Watching the conference build on Thursday, through the hard work of the volunteers and staff, is empowering. Sails, stage lights, and the dancing women backdrop were raised in Wise Woman Hall, Maple Tree Center was transformed into a thriving hub, parking lots were mapped out, and signs posted.
As participants arrived on Friday, tents started popping up across the lake. It was a sight to behold, especially as the sun sunk low in the sky, light dancing across the water.
As I walked to Wise Women Hall on Friday night before Opening Ceremony, I paused to savor the full moon rising over the lake. By then, the land was abuzz with over a thousand women gathering, connecting and celebrating. That atmosphere continued throughout the weekend.
Like many of you, the peak of my conference weekend was taking in the various flavors of Saturday's Evening Extravaganza!
Longtime conference teacher Christan Poret along with women from her African Dance troupe Djoli Kelen performed with friends Giwayen Mata and Egbe Sekere of Atlanta.
The powerful pieces they offered are authentic examples of the worldwide indigenous roots of the Wise Woman Tradition. Through their dances, they honored those who have gone before us, the women on whose shoulders we stand. My favorite part was watching Zaya learn what it means to be a wise woman . . .
Later I stopped by the Lake Pavilion Trance Dance led by Kim Duckett where women were dancing in circle under the full moon. Walking by the Spiral Fire, I reveled in the sound of women's voices singing. Meanwhile, back at Wise Women Hall, DJ Smokifantastic rocked the house.
Since the conference, we have been enjoying all the sweet notes women are sending with reflections of their highlights of the conference.
"Thank you for creating this experience that heals from the inside out so that I can be the best version of myself and return home to love and nurture other women in my life!”
"As I return to my daily life after the conference, the profound shift in my energy is undeniable. I am amazed to realize it's possible to feel this good, capable, and focused!"
And now, we begin to turn inward to the root season, and find ways to bring the wise woman ways back home. In the Wise Woman Tradition, we honor the spiral of life we walk as women. We follow the rhythm of the seasons, the moon, and the day ~ inward and outward, from root to blossom, from dark to light, from youth to elderhood. And we embrace it all.
Deep thanks to every one of you.
And remember, wild plants make wild women!