UU Women's Connection

Spring 2015: Noticing, Acknowledging and Listening

Marsha Forrest

Once again, our Spring Conference brought us together at the Pilgrim Park Conference Center, with its cozy gathering spaces, sturdy porch furniture, and peaceful natural setting. Our keynote speaker, Marsha Forrest, spoke to us of noticing, acknowledging, and listening to every living thing, being close to the earth, and taking the time to understand our own path upon it. She led us in a self-exploration exercise that included a solitary walk, barefoot if we wished, around the grounds. We shared our symbolic hand drawn pictures and personal discoveries, and supportive and curious responses from others were much appreciated.

A fascinating talk about the 13 feminine archetypes, an intimate chat about the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and an intriguing activity that explored the idea of Earthing (also a book, and nicely fitting with the theme of the weekend) kept us busy throughout the day on Saturday. As it grew dark, many women enjoyed a circle of drumming (and a little bit of singing) around the bonfire where we also held a small conversation with an owl. There was yoga in the morning, games at night, and an opportunity to create cards for a very worthy cause.

Members of the UU Women’s Connection council read all of the evaluations of the weekend, and found that there were many things that women enjoyed and appreciated about the weekend. Although there were no complaints, we do want to apologize to any women who were uncomfortable in any way about not being able to have their requested accommodations, or being surprised about a few last minute changes (as far as single, double, triple, etc). The council has been working hard to make our conference experiences comfortable and refreshing for everyone, and we will continue to keep those goals in mind as we make plans for future weekend stays. Please understand that we do our best to accommodate earlier registrations as they come in and as space and available options allow.

— Susan Wilhelm