When women come together, we dance. We dance our thoughts, our sorrows and our joy. Flowing like water, drops in an ocean – we recognize that we are one. Gloria Steinem said empathy arises when all five senses are present and engaged. It was impossible not to feel and embrace otherness – all we will never know about ourselves and each other.
Ghost Ranch, set in the high mesa of New Mexico is best known from the paintings of Georgia O’Keefe, whose home is on the ranch. She spent years traveling through the box canyons, painting the cliffs from many perspectives. They transform dramatically during the day and night and are as varied as the people who call New Mexico home.
The Deepening Women’s Wisdom workshop, led by Alice Walker, Gloria Steinem and Hyun Kyung Chung was supported by Indigenous women’s healing circles for humankind and for our mother the earth. Many of the attendees were ministers, therapists, teachers and feminists who came to share their story and to renew our commitment to move forward in the face of decades of creeping inequality. This was the first time I attended a gathering of women and didn’t know how easy it would be to flow with the stream of our relational energy. I felt illuminated by new friendships unfolding in the vibrant beauty of the land. We respected our leaders and each other in equal measure. The conversation embraced us all, no matter our hardships, privilege or age. I felt the gentle grace of the holy spirit settle upon us like a soft cloud when we gathered in the evening to reflect on the day’s activities.
Connecting with the earth was part of this renewing journey, something that typically encourages me to wander away from humans. Making new friends, dancing with abandon and learning with and about the amazing journeys of the women who attended opened up my heart to people. The stars filled the sky with dancing lights and streaming galaxies. Our songs and stories filled my heart with love. Thanks be to all that is and special thanks to Dr. Leona Stuckey-Abbott, the (Ir)Reverend Shannon A White, and Licia Berry for making this journey so heartfelt and memorable.