Today I want to share with you a wonderful woman who asked me to participate in an inspiring occasion a few days ago. Jennifer Everett is a Bradley Childbirth Educator and Assistant Midwife in Grover Beach. She is my right hand woman in the Birth & Baby Resource Network. On top of this she is the mother of 3 great kids, one born in the hospital & two at home, all born naturally! She is a brilliant organizer and was the coordinator for last year's Birth & Baby Fair. Crazy woman that she is she has offered to organize it again this year and has some innovative ideas for new events we will be running in conjunction with this year's Fair. (I'll keep you posted on those.)
None of that is why I am writing about her today. Today I am writing because she let me be present when she gave her fifteen year old daughter the sweetest of gifts; a party in her honor to welcome her into the community of women. Inspired by the book "The Red Tent" by Anita Diamant, a must read for women, she created a Red Party and gathered a group of women young and old to eat, to drink, to laugh and to share. Everyone wore red, we ate red food including a scrumptious red velvet cake (my first!), her home was decorated with red balloons and gorgeous bunches of deep red roses. Jennifer asked everyone to bring index cards with lists of favorite female: authors, books, movies, singers and songs; as well as, cards to pass on what we have learned about being a woman in today's world. Then she put them all together for her in a photo album; a treasured keepsake of the moment.
None of that is why I am writing about her today. It is the party "activity" she chose and helped create which lifted the occasion to another level for me. Jennifer hired a wonderful woman, Janice Devine Patterson, who has started her own business (yeah!) called The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pots. I think this woman is brilliant!! She has taken a simple activity, the creation of candles, and imbued it with a child-like energy and the creation of a joyous ritual which taps into people's hearts and facilitates the giving and receiving of the gift of feelings. With a bit of guidance from the host she spontaneously works with the theme of the ocassion to create a completely unique experience. This would work beautifully to mark any of life's passages, jubilant or sad: baby or wedding showers, graduations, new careers, memorials, divorce, or struggling against illness.
None of that is really why I am writing today. I am writing because Jennifer did me the honor of asking me to be present when she gave her daughter a cherished gift; the gift of community, the gift of being valued by her mother and the women of her mother's world, the gift of saying such heartfelt feelings they brought tears to all our eyes, the gift of a mother respecting a daughter. These are powerful life long gifts. I feel blessed to have been a witness to the giving.