September 14, 2019

In the Spirit of Sisterhood...

I never quite know where I will end up when I write a blog post. Often times it is not even closely related to where I started. I meant to share some wonderful recipes with you and then something serendipitous happened and I changed course. I'll tell you why....

It started yesterday afternoon with an email from a reader, Nancy, who wrote to tell me about a lovely story I might enjoy. She sent it to me "in the Spirit of Sisterhood" because it reminded her of my writing. She sent me a link to a guest post on Honey Good, a website dedicated to women over 50. The post is entitled Lessons From My Dear Friend, Marihelen by Ginny Callahan. Ginny recently lost a close friend of 59 years and wrote about the importance of friendships, lifelong friendships and what the loss of Marihelen had taught her. I encourage you to take a few minutes to read it HERE.

Ginny shares a lesson she learned in the passing of her cherished friend. While they remained lifelong friends, there were many times they meant to get together but life got in the way. We all know what that feels like. She encourages readers not to delay in connecting with the people who bring meaning to your life, as Ginny says, "we should nurture our friendships, old and new". 

I realized that the true test in life 
is looking at an experience-- good or bad-- 
and uncovering the lesson. 

It is why older people with many years
 of experience see themselves as wise. 
It's not those experiences that make you wise, 
but what you learned from them that counts. 
Everyone experiences loss and grief, 
but it's what you do with it that matters. 

Ginny Callahan 

After reading this post, I set off to run some errands in town. Along the way, I stopped into one of my favorite stores, Bowerbird & Friends Antiques and found myself deep into bowls of vintage photographs. With women, friendships and Tahilla Gatherings in mind, I collected photos of women that brought forth the Spirit of Sisterhood. 

I found a series of photographs that I fell in love with...especially the ones below. I am guessing they are sisters or relations, spending time together or possibly living together, enjoying the warmth of the sun on the back porch. The window awning suggest they are near the beach. Whatever the case may be, they are enjoying each others company, the smiles below says it all and it must have been a good one to bring about that much laughter. I wish I knew! 

I had so much fun with this group of photos I went back for more. All the while I was thinking of my grandmother, who was in her early 60's in the photo below, about the same age as I am today. That's me at about 2-3 years old, in a little trendy bathing suit and a big bruise on more forehead. The first of many in my lifetime! We were standing on the porch at the family beach house along Long Beach in Gloucester, Massachusetts in the late 1950's. I am guessing I was given something sweet to appease me for the bruise on my forehead. That trick still works! My aunt mentioned that my grandmother was wearing her "summer" earrings which never left the beach house. The came out of her jewelry box on Memorial Day when she arrived for the summer and went back into her jewelry box when she left after Labor Day. Traveling style!

My grandmother "Gub" and me

I am just loving the Spirit of Sisterhood...yesterday and today. Speaking of today, this summer I have had the pleasure of being the designated "Swimmer Sherpa (creative license on Sherpa)" following three amazingly talented friends between the ages of 57-62 as they swam 5 miles around a local lake. While they poured heart and soul into their swim, I had the pleasure of bird watching as I kayaked, looking for eagles, hawks and loons. I spotted a hawk and heard my first loon calls. It was magical. Best of all, after each swimming adventure we headed off to the local general store in Harrisville, New Hampshire for a delicious breakfast. I can always be called to action if good food awaits. ;) 

Super swimmers: Beth, Elizabeth and Jenny

Kayaking along...

It was a glorious summer filled with family, new friends, old friends and blogging friends with great food and plenty of laughter between us all. The Spirit of Sisterhood is thriving at Tahilla Farm with a Tahilla Gatherings Retreat coming up in October and exciting plans underway for 2020. My request for poetry and verse for the Tahilla Farm Poetry Trail has exceeded my expectations, I can't thank you enough! I will sign off with a few and will continue to publish in upcoming posts.

A very BIG THANK YOU for all our encouragement and support, it is TRULY appreciated!!!  

Along the Tahilla Farm Trail

Contributions to the Poetry Trail...

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you. 

Written by David Wagoner
Thank you Cath for sending this poem!

Autumn Abundance
Coolness, crispness and colors galore
Autumn soon once again you will arrive at our door
The hues, new shoes, school schedules appear once again
Before me all accents of the most autumn kind
Yes we are leaving our summer behind
Crickets casanova, birds spell out a V in flight
Chinese lanterns in our gardens, wind chimes more echoes abound
Birds soon fly south, and oh the taste in my mouth
of our glorious Thanksgiving feasts, a bountiful harvest
Pumpkins, gourds and Halloween soon
and our Canadian Thanksgiving with pumpkin pie and ice cream spoon

I'll embrace you autumn and again in silent prayer will say....
Thank you God for our beautiful seasons....
Thank you God for our reasons to embrace love and joy and one another.

Written by fellow blog reader, Jeanne Caron
Thank you Jeanne!

With thanks to Nancy, Ginny and Marihelen for inspiring this post and the Spirit of Sisterhood. 

Until next time...wishing you a wonderfully serendipitous week ahead!

Jeanne xx

More posts on Sisterhood..


September 5, 2019

Please join me...along the Poetry Trail

Misty morning...Tahilla Farm

Mr. H and I recently set off into the woods to work on the Tahilla Farm Trail. He with his Silky Zubat Pole Saw and me with my trusty wee axe. We spent time limbing trees, clearing trail paths, stacking wood and appreciating the beauty around us. While we worked, I had Tahilla Gatherings on my mind and the thought of creating a poetry trail.

August 19, 2019

Tahilla Gatherings and Third Act Quest

A Tahilla Gathering...

In the words of Mary Oliver…

What is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

This is a question that a close friend of mine, Diana Place, asks women as she guides them to uncover answers to this powerful question and works with them to create a plan.  Diana has recently launched a new business, Third Act Quest, and I am very excited to be a part of the official launch of her first retreat. 

I had the pleasure of gathering Diana and friends earlier this year for a test run of her Third Act Quest retreat at Tahilla Farm, you can read about it here. We were both so excited by the end result we quickly agreed to work together for her official launch in October.

Third Act Quest offers retreats, connection and resources to help women in their 40's, 50's and 60's to uncover their passions and purpose and to create the life they are meant to live for their "third act". It is her personal goal to play a part in shifting negative perceptions of this amazing stage of life - both for individuals and in our culture -- beginning with retreats and inspiring profiles of "third act" women. 

Diana has just opened up her fall retreats;  October 25-27 in New Hampshire at Tahilla Farm and November 8-11 in Virginia.  There are spots for 10 women in each.  

If you'd like to learn more, she would be happy to set up a phone call to share more information or you can email her at diana@thirdactquest.comTo make it easier for you to schedule, she has a LINK that goes directly to her calendar to set up a time that works for you.  

In the meantime, you can also take a look at her website to learn a bit more about Third Act Quest:

-  Home page has a brief overview and photos of her retreat locations

-  About Third Act Quest page outlines the "why" and "who" would be served by the retreats

-  Retreats  page overviews the scheduled retreats and each individual retreat page, for example, the NH retreat at Tahilla Farm  has details about the locations and schedule of activities for the 3-day weekends.

-  About Me page outlines Diana's personal background and what led her to start this new venture.

You can also sign up to receive her  “12 Gifts Free Subscription” (first one comes out in September)  for inspiration and resources and to stay in the loop about things.

I hope you will stop in and say hi to Diana, feel free to ask questions. She is a dear and genuine soul who is happy to work with you. Tell her Jeanne sent you...and the grasshopper. :))

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plant to do
with your one wild and  precious life?

Mary Oliver

A new friend...the grasshopper

If you would like to add your name to future
 Tahilla Gatherings announcements
you can leave a comment wherever you follow me.

If you would like to connect with Diana, you
can follow any of the links above
or write to her

In the sweetness of friendship, let there be laughter 
for in the dew of little things
the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

Khalil Gibran

August 4, 2019

Garden Talk: Design, Books, Tools, Shop

Show me your garden, 
and I shall tell you who you are.
Alfred Austin

I visited a garden last week,
 it was more of a discovery walk,
and the result was magical. 

I looked closely.
I looked for the magic.
I looked for the music.

And I found it.

July 23, 2019

True Compassion...a poem

Sometime go outside and sit,
in the evening at sunset,
when there's a slight breeze
that touches your body,
and makes the leaves
and the trees move gently.

You're not trying to do 
anything, really.

You're simply allowing
yourself to be,
very open from deep within,
without holding
onto anything whatsoever.

Don't bring something back
from the past, from a memory.

Don't plan that something
should happen.

Don't hold onto anything 
in the present.

Nothing you perceive
needs to be nailed down.

Simply let experience
take place, very freely,
so that your empty, open heart
is suffused with the tenderness
of true compassion.

From my spot under 
the chestnut tree.

Letting it be.

Jeanne xx