On Sunday morning my mother took my two children to church. Too young for Sunday school, as a baby and a toddler there were mostly there to look cute and play. Raised in the church myself I love that they’re going to become familiar with the concept and eventually learn the religion of our mainstream culture.
Having left the church as a teen, I’m anxious about them becoming too wrapped up in the details of the Bible instead of harnessing the essence of God and growing spiritually.
I put the anxiety to rest knowing that at home and in life I will organically teach them about the Sacred Feminine that I have since come to feel connected to as my comforting Higher Power. (Plus it’s a few kid free hours, I’m not going to protest.)
While my children were at church with their Granny, I was sitting in the forest at Assiniboine Park with Kim Anderson’s book and my ThinAir note pad I was inspired to write, as I connected to the earth, the best place where I find the Sacred Feminine.
This is my church.
Cool breeze, grey skies.
Autumn leaves bed the floor of the river bank
Shafts of sunlight through the cloud cover then filter to my seat,
Amongst the dying fauna.
Small leaves rain down and the chill is on my neck
Welcome is the mud on my jeans and shoes,
Evidence of my encounter with Her.
The vibrant browns & greens of the summer’s shadow are perfect in their scattered chaos
I breathe in beauty
The flowing wall paper of the murky river
Moves past the thin trees
An optical feast for eyes accustomed to digital screens
The quiet soaking through my ears, who deserve the rest from the endless noise and demands.
Drawing this energy in I already feel rejuvenated.
Mother Nature brings new life to the goddess within
Empowered I am ready for the week ahead.
Squirrels and chickadees sing praises for me
For my voice is flowing through ink in a pen.
This is my church.
I love the community Kim Anderson describes in her book Life Stages and Native Women Memory, Teachings and Story Medicine. The reverence to women as part of the Sacred Feminine, living off the land, connecting to nature, using plants and story to heal and teach and protect. Everyone in this culture has a purpose. Most fascinating to me was the philosophy of each person having a specific role based on their age and gender which I am so eager to read, in hopes that I can find pieces to apply to myself and my children as we age together.
Yesterday at the Millennium Library this scholar and author tells us of scared traditions surrounding milestones in a woman’s life and I hope that such rituals return to our young women someday. She told us of the way the family would seclude their daughters for their first moon time and subsequent menstruations, and explained how it was for the good of the community. I laughed a little inside, thinking of a friend who earlier that day that had confessed she was extra mean today and that PMS was indeed to blame, but that wasn’t the reason for isolation that Kim was talking about.
The young girls were left in solitude not out of shameful, unclean or mood swinging reasons, as we would assume. It was so the women and the community could harness the power that this event manifested. The power could be used for creating quilts or beading and sometimes used to heal, but productivity and shared benefit were the intention. I smiled again, thinking of how this friend directed her power through anger and used it in a beneficial way when directed at the right target.
Kim’s book asks in the forward, Who dreams of being an old woman? I do. I look forward to age and the wisdom it brings. I dream of having women and children of all ages to impart my wisdom too, to use stories of my life and the experiences of my mother and her mother, my aunt, cousins and daughter to draw this wisdom from.
After her reading and Q & A, I asked Kim to sign my copy of her book and she signed it with thanks for my participation in sharing stories of the Sacred Feminine. I am so proud to have been a part of this event and the new path it's inspired in my life. Thank you Kim for your role in this.
-Leah Edmonds, Guest Blogger