April 26, 2005

Celebrating the Full Moon

We gathered at QuiltArtist's home in the city, an old house jammed between gardens of daffodils and hyacinths blooming on a cold spring night. As I came in through the open kitchen door, warm air rushed at me with the smell of burning sage and sweetgrass, melting candle wax, and the simmering of essential oils. Ylang Ylang. Bergamot. Mandarin. Rosewood.

A fire was burning already, sending crackling noises into the room and wisps of light across the hardwood floors. The walls in the living room were hung with quilts that vibrate with colour. The table held oddly curving mugs made by local artists, handmade platters filled with cookies, an assortment of herbal teas.

We gathered in a circle, a group of women who have known each other for years. My kids tease me about this group of friends, referring to them as The FM Women. Spouse claims that there is a Saturday Night Live skit about us. One of the husbands started calling us The Wild Women because we go on a weekend together every fall to the mountains, and -- well, I guess he heard stories.

Tonight we were ready to be peaceful, rather than wild. ReikiWoman led a meditation. My body sunk slowly into the soft pillows of the couch, lulled into relaxation. We talked about children, partners, gardens. About spirit, body, food. We drank hot tea that gave off the scent of lemon.

We wrote our worries on scraps of paper and burned them in the fire. We laughed at mistakes and talked about letting go of regrets. We ended up gathered in the kitchen, clumped around the sink as we drank the last cup of hot tea before returning to our own homes and families. We were all talking faster by then, returning to our normal pace. We talked about men, about haircuts, about sex.

Driving home, the sky was cloud-covered, threatening rain, or perhaps even snow. But towards morning, the full moon moved across the sky, over my roof, and into the patch of night just outside my bedroom window, waking me up to talk in the early hours of the morning.

13 comments:

PPB said...

Can I just come live with you and listen to you tell stories for a couple months?

jo(e) said...

Sure, PPB, my kids and extras would love you. Be sure to bring the guitar.

Pilgrim/Heretic said...

Ooooooo, storytelling evenings with jo(e) and PPB? That would be heaven.

Yankee T said...

Hey, guys, wait for me! I wanna hear the stories, too!

Scrivener said...

Can I listen in too? Maybe if I promise to do the cooking or something?

jo(e) said...

Sure, Scrivener. Anyone willing to cook is always welcome.

reverendmother said...

Wow. This was soothing!

My soul-sisters live all over the country. We don't get together as much as we'd like (although we're going to Palm Springs over Memorial Day!). In the meantime, I will live vicariously through you.

Dr. H said...

I crave these kinds of interactions. I'm still seeking them out in my new town. Thanks for sharing the experience of your evening with us.

What Now? said...

How lovely to have such a group of friends! I'm quite envious.

By why FM Women? I don't get the name.

jo(e) said...

What Now -- The FM refers to FM Radio shows. The Saturday Night live skit features two hippy-type women who talk in slow, soft voices.

Friday Mom said...

What Now? asked the question I had.

I've been trying to put words to what it is in me that your stories touch so deeply. It's a hunger that's being fed. That's all I know now. Maybe someday I'll be able to explain it. Just keeping telling them!

reverendmother said...

It reminds me of Anne Lamott talking in her most recent book about teaching writing in the prison, and going with her friend (name?), an oral storyteller. Anne was able to keep their attention OK, but with her friend, the men were just rapt.

Storytelling is a gift I don't have. There's something about the gift of detail and particularity, but with a deep universality to the tale as well. Or something.

the lawmom said...

I want this group of women in my life. For a couple of years in college I lived with two fabulous girls. They are women now, but then definitely girls. Since then I pretty regularly complain to David that I want more women friends. I miss that bond that you can have with women.