In late September I had the privilege of co-hosting with local friend and colleague, Beth Sanders, The Circle Way training practicum with founders and master circle practitioners, Ann Linnea and Christina Baldwin. Seventeen people joined us, from Germany, Indiana, Minnesota, British Columbia, together with a strong local contingent.
Strawberry Creek Lodge welcomed and held us for the five days, providing nourishment for body and spirit, its simple and natural beauty – with acres of glowing golden aspens and towering spruce and pine, leaf-covered trails, beaver, moose, coyote and bird – creating the larger container into which we created our circle of intention, learning, curiosity, and compassion.
It was the second time such a circle had been called. In 2011, the day before I departed for three months abroad, I emailed Ann and Christina wondering if they’d come to Edmonton to teach circle. Then, too, seventeen of us gathered at Strawberry Creek Lodge in the glorious splendor of fall of 2012. Then, intent to bring circle more fully into my personal and professional work, hardly would I have imagined this manifesting as co-teaching with Ann and Christina during their final off-site training.
In the weeks prior to this circle, in the moments between “skippering” our home’s renovation, I felt anxious, apprehensive even. In counsel with a wise woman, she offered that of course, such would be the response to stepping into a legacy. Relief with having been so deeply heard, with having received the “frame” for understanding and navigating this new role and context. My choice of token to bring to the opening circle’s centre, the solid pewter sea urchin, its circular shape and surface covered with tiny circles, its weight signifying the gravitas of the occasion for me.
Together, we four held well the circle’s directions, energies, and teachings. Together, we were both present to and in a grief that came in with this circle – supporting, shepherding and stewarding, with clarity, focus and compassion, several momentous transitions. Together, we practiced and modeled a cornerstone Circle Way agreement: “ask for what you need, offer what you can.”
And in the end, after a mid-night of Northern Lights that shimmered in the brilliant sky, clear after a day of blustery wind and steady rain, the torches passed, marked by the green and orange “Glassy Baby” candles, gifts from Ann and Christina to Beth and me.
Now Beth and I mark our own stepping in to create a pattern of learning experiences for the next phase of our lives. We hope you’ll join us for circle practicum trainings next spring and summer, and our newest (ad)venture, Soul Spark: Step Into the Fire of Doing the Work You Love to Do.