I sit in a circle of women, each one different, varied and rich like the spices that line the shelves near my stove. We are a variation on the theme of writing, creativity, seeking and womanhood. Being here I slow down to notice my breath and my place in the circle.

 Yesterday I stood at the ocean on a quiet deck overlooking an undecided day. I held pieces of bread in each hand, my arms outstretched like a scarecrow. In seconds the airborne flapping of wings blanketed my body, flying, darting, and diving. Birds less brave sat along the railing, or the crest of a nearby roof hoping for a scattering of crumbs.

I love being surrounded by birds. I love their freedom and beauty, all swirling in crisp ocean currents. The gulls are the sea bound relatives of their British cousins in Trafalgar Square, the bridge between Charing Cross road and Portland Place. 

I love being surrounded by these women as well. Fellow travelers on the inner road to the soul. Women who make a path one word at a time, our destination both known and unknown, an active journey of discovery and revealing. The pen delivers surprises, the information from head and heart landing like treasures on the pristine landscape of the page. A light turning on in rooms forgotten.  We do not fully know what we know without putting pen to paper. 

I sit in a circle of women.

I stand in a great flock of churning seagulls

and I stand in myself.

Each moment a gemstone in my private collection.

written 3-7-08