Reflections on the UCC Women’s Retreat

I spent the previous weekend, March 7-9, with 16 other women from my church up at the Dillard House rental cabins in Dillard, GA. Throughout the past week, I’ve been reflecting upon the many blessings I gave and received in the company of my beautiful and loving sisters. First of all, I feel blessed beyond measure to be completely accepted, as a trans-woman, among genetic women. Among my generous-hearted sisters, I sensed a greater at-one-ness with the Divine Feminine than what I typically experience alone out in Nature. As several of my sisters shared their pain or grieving with tears, I had the opportunity to offer comfort through hugs or extemporaneous funny stories. The other ladies on the retreat practice Christ-centered faiths, some combining Protestant and Catholic traditions. While I was the only woman to openly express my Goddess-centered faith, all the other women were completely accepting. I connected exceptionally with one of the women, an outdoorswoman, a wife, mother, and stepmother. This sister has prevailed through overwhelming hardships and has had some Goddess-centered faith experiences as well. Hiking Tallulah Gorge on Saturday, from the north rim to the swinging bridge and up to the south rim, further connected us. For all of us on the retreat, our diversity of faith-experiences enhanced our sense of closeness and likely serves as a ‘glue’ holding us together after the end of the retreat. In fact, our facilitator, Rochelle, and several others agreed that the seventeen of us, plus those who attended the retreat last year, should be henceforth be called “Sisters of the Cloth” or SOCs.

Immediately upon packing and leaving the rental cabins Sunday, I took a detour towards Sky Valley and stopped at the overlook. I drummed to Mistress Cybele, Mother of Mountains, dedicating the rest of my week to Her. After more sightseeing, I headed home. This past week, I began organizing an outdoor “Roman Easter” celebration. The original Roman Easter commemorated the entrance of Cybele’s meteorite into Rome and the rebirth of Cybele’s lover, Attis. I’m planning a less solemn, modern version of the Roman Easter, with a picnic potluck and fellowship. If people are so inclined, maybe we can have drumming to keep one feature of the original holiday. Yesterday, I reserved for Roman Easter a picnic shelter in East Cobb Park, 4 pm on April. Also this week, I’ve resolved to complete and format all my meditations, prayer-poems, and hymns into a book for self-publishing. Monica and I agreed my poetry collection book should be titled “Songs the Mountains Taught Me.” Hence, as I wait for the start of my new position at the CDC, I explore ways to share my faith in the Divine Feminine.

Hawthorne Falls from south rim of Tallulah Gorge in Tallulah Falls, GA.

Hawthorne Falls from the south rim of Tallulah Gorge in Tallulah Falls, GA.

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