Today is the autumn equinox – it’s also 90 degrees out and feels like you are swimming through the damp, humid air! I think it’s from the horrific tropical hurricanes and storms; you know, leftover dampness lingering and searching for a place to settle. However, its more likely that it’s the result of the very real climate change that our current government officials refuse to acknowledge. In any case – it doesn’t feel like autumn.
Even so, deep in my recesses of my mind, I recall fond memories of celebrating the autumn equinox with my friends around a huge bonfire by a small pond at the lovely, expansive home of my friend/mentor/boss Jan Moyer. We would drink wine, eat wonderful food, laugh together, play together and sing together. At one point, Brooke would open up her book of magic spells and weave the tales of the autumn equinox. She would lead us into a celestial ritual by lighting candles, chanting phrases and guiding us through the process of letting go of what was and sending our deepest wishes out into the universe for consideration. I always felt so connected during this celebration – connected to my friends, my heart, my mind, my body, my family and most of all, to the universe. There was always a moment of pure love and peace that we experienced. An honest, true joy that life was beautiful and right. Even if it was just a glimmer of hope and a second of pure elation – I’ll always remember the celebrations – those emotions and sharing all that I could give emotionally with people who I connected with. Those people were my tribe…my family.
When we first met, each of us were at different junctures in our lives. Susan S. was a graduate student; Susan M. was a budding graphic designer; Jim was an experienced graphic designer (as well as a fun musician). Robert was our IT guru who kept us at the top of our game with all the new developments in the growing world of technology. Nancy Howard was our resident expert in human behavioral studies and Igor was the strangest man I have ever known. There were internal outliers to our tribe that we welcomed into our fold: Brooke, Devki, Jan, Kate, Tom and even “the Screaming Stick” (she had the coffee). I was the tribe’s “mother hen” and was revered for my skills in the art of mothering because at that time my children were my most important part of my life.
In the presence of these people, I had never felt so safe, loved and confident. In their own way, each of them taught me to open my mind and see a world that I had not seen before. Each had their own gifts to impart; a few were math geniuses, others were lighting design experts, there were marketing wizards, graphic design gurus and there were the psychology virtuosos. All of them were well read and educated. I found myself doing everything I could to get closer to them to soak up every bit of knowledge I could. I never felt stupid, just uninformed and if I didn’t understand or know what they were talking about, I never hesitated to ask for an explanation or for someone to explain what they were talking about. We all had something to learn from one another.
Under their inclusiveness and tutelage I was able to grow as a person as well as a mother. I had more self-esteem and confidence in my abilities to be a better person, see the world differently and become more accepting of the differences that I never understood before. In their own ways, my tribe helped my children grow and learn. It was the way they marveled at my beautiful, smart, talented, witty children! They would spend time with my children, talk to them, teach them about music and other worldly things that I couldn’t. They imparted wisdom and invited inquisitiveness. By looking into my family’s world, my tribe saw things that I wasn’t able to see and through them I began to see each of my children in a different way. I saw them as individuals, not a collective. There truly is strength in numbers. Collectively, my tribe helped me and my children become more tolerant, kind and open to new things.
As I said before, every person in the tribe was gifted in one way or another. Everyone benefited from being part of our group in one way or another because each of us was different. We trusted each other and we supported one another in ways that only a true family would. Being victims of our own circumstances and oddities brought us together and together we grew as individuals and inspired one another to become who we are today. Which is why I know I will never have that kind of relationship with any other group of people again – we were drawn together because of our need for each other and when we needed to grow and move on, we did. I don’t think we outgrew each other – that sounds so final and sad. I think we just took what we needed, kept memories in our hearts and we left each other better than we started.
So as I reminisce about our autumn gatherings and cherish my memories of laughter, love and fellowship, I put this wish out to the universe today: I wish for my tribe to feel the touch of my loving spirit as they walk through each day of their lives. I hope that they hold dear the memories of our collective energies and kinship as I do. May each of them meet new souls that guide them and help them continue to reach new heights with each of their very specific and wonderful gifts.
Sending light and love to everyone. May you find peace in your existence, love in your heart, knowledge in your mind and truth in your soul.