TLS Annual Gathering

2012 Retrospective by Lisa Gidlow Moriarty

Timeless Flow ~ Reflections and Currents in the Labyrinth, was the theme that flowed throughout Gathering 2012 as we congregated on the bluffs overlooking the St. Croix River in Hudson, Wisconsin, in October.  Pre-Gathering activities included tours of some of the many area labyrinths, art workshops in sandcasting, beading and needle felting and an equine experience walking with horses through the labyrinth paths.  Our opening ceremonies included a sacred water blessing by indigenous women of the Ojibwe tribe and a multi-media presentation, River Croix, which introduced us to the national scenic riverway through images, poetry and song. We were caught in the current and carried along into the weekend with individual reflections by Jeff Saward on Friday and Lauren Artress on Saturday, sharing the history of labyrinths from earliest known to the present day surge. 

Concurrent workshops and Poster Presentations allowed us to dive deeper into our explorations of stories and sharing new insights and lessons the labyrinth offers. The water theme was even more present as Saturday skies drizzled upon us, but not so much to dampen the inspiration that resulted in whirlpools of creativity as temporary labyrinths bubbled forth from raked leaves, knitted yarn, chalk and paint. The weekend was sprinkled with familiar offerings such as the Silent Auction, Vendor Room, TLS Store and Jewelry Gypsies, and we cast our votes to elect new leadership at the Annual Meeting. Ripples of conversation drifted throughout at the confluence of friends new and old.  A Healing Energy area offered services as well as a warm fireside reflection area with a splash of canvas labyrinths.

On Saturday evening we sang together led by local musician Sara Thomsen. On Sunday morning we walked together, carrying a river poem on the waves of Native American flute and crystal singing bowls, meandering through historic watery-blue labyrinth paths. Jill Geoffrion shared the struggles, grief and joys of her global work on several continents, including African orphans, widows and victims of war and torture. This was followed by the installation of the new TLS Board of Directors, the sending off retiring members to the Wisdom Circle, and a traditional spiral dance closing. Our spiraling was echoed by the majestic circling of bald eagles in migration and nature paths winding through the acres of forest and prairie.  Those who lingered longer continued to be swept by the current, priming the well of wisdom in the post-Gathering workshop and exploring more of the area, with ancient Indian burial mounds that overlook the river, and labyrinth locations that included a unique water crematory.  As we bid our farewells and drifted apart, we were buoyed by the promise of our next Gathering at another shore, on an island off the Pacific coast. As we dream of meeting again on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, in September 17-22, 2013, we can almost taste the salt water in the air.