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...

Lost
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
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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..

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5 comments:

  1. So true about the importance of maintaining - or reawakening - connections. I've become a near-recluse in recent years due to physical limitations, and so find it painfully awkward to reconnect with people. Just in the past couple of weeks, though, I've called three old friends and invited each to come by so I can pick a sack of filet beans for them to take home. I guess I've learned that all it takes sometimes is a bag of beans to get me past the awkwardness :)

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  2. Blessings dear Jeanne. All of your blog postings are fabulous and thank you for including my poem. Have a soulful Sunday. Love Jeanne

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  3. Connections, especially with our female friends, are so important. I feel revitalised whenever I meet 3 of my school friends. We've known each other since we were 4 - a long time ago now :) I always enjoy reading your posts, Jeanne as they always seem to awaken a call to action within me. The series of photos you shared are precious. I have a collection of old B&W photos of relations from bygone years. They are a treasure to have. Wishing you lots of luck and new friendships with Tahilla Gatherings.

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  4. Thanks for including the link to Ginny's post. I, too, lost my "best friend since the second grade" this year, and while it certainly left a huge hole in my heart, it brought back so many good memories. I was fortunate to see her a week before she died, and tho she was not able to speak much, we were still able to say goodbye and speak of our love for each other. Now, as a second friend faces a tough disease, I find that i am reaching out much more often and more directly to make sure that we get more time together, in case this is the end for her, too. Getting old is not for sissies!

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  5. Women friends, across the generations, are so incredibly important. Thank you.

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Can I just say....that I so enjoy what YOU have to say. If you would like to write to me directly, I would love to hear from you... jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com