Center of Calm
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Vermont College Quad - Site of the Council of All Beings
This past week, I spent an amazing day with some of the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. The Grandmothers are a group of indigenous elders from around the world, who come together to teach peace, understanding among people and healing of ourselves and Mother Earth.
The trip to see them was unexpected, as I had learned only a week before of their visit to Vermont. I traveled up to Vermont with two dear friends, who also were eager to hear and see the Grandmothers.
As we walked across the beautiful campus of Vermont College to the site of the Sacred Fire, the sun was shining. People from around the world were gathering around the Sacred Fire. As the fire was being lit, the wind picked up. Clouds billowed high and dark around us. Only the sky overhead stayed blue.
Earlier in the day, I wrote to the woman who was one of the organizers to ask if there was still space available for the day's program. She had written back immediately to assure me that we would be able to join in the program. She prefaced her remarks with, "Pray the rain stops." As soon as I read the email, I offered a prayer that the rain would not hamper the Grandmothers' celebration.
As the Sacred Fire began to blaze, the clouds got darker and higher; however, they remained around us. Thunder rumbled. In the distance, we could see lightening. For the Native Peoples gathered, the thunder beings were greeting the Grandmothers.
As we prepared to offer prayers at the fire, a little rain fell - just enough to anoint everyone. It was as if the Creator was throwing Holy Water on us all.
For the remainder of the day, the weather was glorious, even though the forecast was predicting rain.
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Grandmothers Bernadette, Margaret & Aggie Pilgrim
At the end of the opening ceremonies, my friends and I were blessed with an invitation to join the Talking Circle with the Grandmothers as well as to share a meal with them. Again, this was completely unexpected. Our gratitude continues to spill forth.
Just before we ate, we heard about the tornadoes in Springfield, Massachusetts, where my friends and other at the gathering lived. Everyone called home; thankfully, all were safe.
We arrived back in Massachusetts quite late. In the morning, the devastation caused by the tornadoes became evident. Many homes were destroyed, trees were torn from their roots, and power lines lie dangerously on the streets. Many people are still without electricity. Some are without homes to live in.
As I sat, yesterday, meditating on Thursday's visit with the Grandmothers, I wondered how we could have had such glorious weather where we were all gathered, yet, a few hundred miles away, our brothers and sisters were suffering great destruction.
Someone commented that it was the energy of the Grandmothers that kept us all safe and out of harm's way. Perhaps. The Grandmothers do have a connection to Spirit that is highly advanced. They have been sharing their energy for healing and peace work individually and collectively for years, now.
I don't know the answer. But, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to spend time with the Grandmothers. I am grateful that all my friends who live in Springfield are safe, their homes untouched by the fierce winds and flying debris. I am grateful that we live in a land where the Grandmothers can unite others, inspire them and speak their truths without fear.
One thing I learned on Thursday. Our lives don't always go as expected. There are times when terrible trauma and events beyond our control can bring fear and terror into our lives. However, if we are connected to Spirit, if we place our hearts and minds in the hands of the Creator, we become the center of calm around which the storms of life blow.
Within the center, we are able to see what needs to be done. We are able to gather resources, even if the only resource we have is prayer. We are able to face the days ahead with the knowledge that all will be well, in spite of destruction, disease, trauma or other negative forces.
In the center of the storm, we can shine our light, guiding others to safe harbor.
Many thanks to all who organized the Council of All Beings and the visit with the Grandmothers. Aho.