Wilma Davidson, Canberra Regional Meeting.
By the time you read this you would have received the minutes of YM and had access to DIA. You will know about decisions made and reports accepted. You may have read the Backhouse Lecture and State of the Art Address.
You may have read of the power and pathos of the Welcome to Country.
What I hope to share is one Friend’s view of the YM week and her purpose for attending – and probably continuing to attend regularly. As I think about what I want to say, much sounds frivolous and unimportant, but if we scratch the surface and share the event with the Spirit very little is frivolous and unimportant.
I attended MFL in Perth and this meant that I was both met and welcomed by Spiritual family – literally at the airport and figuratively throughout YM. My YM colleagues also run the Summer School I attended, created the labyrinth I walked daily and were involved in the general organization.
At each YM I attend I realise that my Quaker interstate friendships are growing and how wonderful it is to catch up again. No matter how much we email or Skype or contact through Facebook, face to face will always be the preferred option. I have also noticed at each YM how travelling and sharing with CRM Friends provides time that we don’t give normally and this strengthens our relationship. Such a blessing!
The location was beautiful; looking out over the river, with lovely places to walk. I did spend some time looking for the Osprey’s nest and failed. A colleague did see an Osprey – all this a few kilometers from the city. I do have a personal struggle with such privilege – the school has an Olympic size swimming pool, and a pipe organ and a Steinway piano in the Chapel, and a host of very well equipped music rooms. Oh if only such luxury stretched beyond the chosen few.
It is so good to find that the challenges one struggles over are also struggles within other Regional meetings. And YM provides the wealth of experience waiting to be tapped. I attended the Ministry and Oversight and Clerks meetings and found this to be the case both times.
This year I was a Pastoral Carer and was therefore alerted to complexities in the role that I hadn’t been aware of. This group is, I believe, integral to the smooth running of YM.
Each year an important event for me is the Gay and Lesbian lunch – I say these two groups only because this year the lunch was attended by one gay man and many lesbians. This year we met in a separate room and this was a wonderful venue and encouraged a party feeling, albeit for a short time. Each year I meet both old friends and people new to this event and this year was no exception.
Some of these highlights sound frivolous but because of the context of the event, each left me with a spiritual gift;
- Gathered early morning MFW;
- Spending much of one day stitching;
- Walking the labyrinth daily – and by candlelight after the Backhouse Lecture; and
- YF’s teaching me to do water handstands – this time together opened the door for further participation with YFs.
Thank you WARM. I came away with a clearer message of what love requires of me.