On Sunday, March 18th, we gathered in "A Celebration of Life, Community and Healing...and two works inspired by that healing!"
We had much to celebrate - first and foremost, Annamieka, my 21-year-old daughter's, health and vibrancy! She was diagnosed in March of 2005 with Hodgkins Lymphoma. Mieka is an amazing young woman, who has been my teacher in so many ways, including during the challenging months of her cancer healing journey.
Having also been through my own healing journey in 1998, as well as having been closely involved with many others', (including my father, and my son Aaron's first love, who succumbed to cancer in March of 2000 at the tender age of 21), I can speak with what sometimes seems like too much knowledge of the trials and tribulations of such journeys........as well as their inherent blessings.
Over the years as a healer, I have also worked with many clients facing cancer or other chronic or life-threatening diseases, and, although emotionally grueling at times, I can honestly say these personal and professional experiences have provided some of the richest, most rewarding and most deeply joyful moments of my life.
(I've been encouraged to write more about all these experiences, which I intend to do someday, but for now..........back to the celebration!)
We sang, we danced, we laughed, we cried......we came together in healing meditation and prayers for peace.We celebrated life and healing, growth and learning........and we also celebrated community.
Given that Mieka had no health insurance, her healing became even more of a community effort. The saying "It takes a village to raise a child", was amended to "It takes a community to heal a young adult". The monetary gifts we received during that period were incredible, second only to the gifts of love that poured freely from the hearts of friends, family members and complete strangers. Although no words could ever capture the gratitude we felt and will always feel., it was important to express what we could verbalize.
Sunday was a ritual of passage, a pause to reflect on gifts given and received, and lessons learned. We completed a chapter. As a community.
I'd like to leave you with a quote by Starhawk, on the true meaning of community:
"We are all longing to go home to some place we have never been — a place half-remembered and half-envisioned we can only catch glimpses of from time to time. Community. Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats. Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power. Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healing. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free."
PS -Next month (which is right around the corner!), in these Notes, I'll tell you more about the new works inspired by Mieka's healing journey that were also celebrated. (Especially Mieka's incredible work!) Stay tuned