Paradise is the People

Heather Articles, Essays

The last ritual at Gaia’s Gardens was Imbolc 2017. It was a bittersweet time, a beautiful ritual which saw friends who have become family through a united place come together one last time.

Only, it wasn’t.

Since leaving the Gardens, there have been  Sunday Circles, three education classes, two community service outings, a Sabbat ritual, a drum circle, and two Full Moons, including one live Moon ritual last night. Folks have gathered for fellowship twice at local pubs. A book club has started.

The place that binds us turns out to be nothing more than just that: a place. It was said frequently as through the packing and the storing that the Church would continue. There would be a light at the end of the tunnel and we would all get through the darkness together.

While we aren’t out of the tunnel yet, it turns out there is a whole lot of light inside it. It’s not dark and musky. It is actually well-kept and a bit comfortable. Not always convenient, but comfortable nonetheless.

During the periods being a nomadic tribe, items have had to be stored for safe keeping at different members homes. Many folks collected border rocks to keep at their abodes and return to the new Gardens when it opens. One member who keeps a farm took in many plants. It’s a very happy moment to share how well they are doing.

Potted plants taken from the gardens and stored on the farm. They are all doing well and some have even started to bloom.

Photo credit JB, CotE Facebook

A peach planted by JB several years ago thrived in the gardens; it started as a tiny seedling and has since become this fine young specimen. While it is growing, it is still small and there were doubts about how well it would survive the transplanting and the move. As you can see, it has a number of leaves and is taking well to its new home.

Photo credit JB, CotE Facebook

One afternoon, Heather arrived home to see a young friend enjoying the Gardens’ bird bath which is presently housed in her front garden. Her Littles enjoy filling the bird bath and laying seed around the base to entice other feathered friends to use the bath.

Photo credit, Heather

Gaia’s Gardens, for many CotE members, was a paradise on Earth. It was a place where we could come together, let our proverbial and/or literal hair down and truly be who we are. There was no one to judge us as, while are all on this journey together. Paradise is, and always has been, a state of mind. “Paradise” is what you make of it. Church members, through continued fellowship in different venues, continue to make CotE events a slice of paradise. This energy, kept going by church members, will lead to a strong foundation for the next gardens.

The Paradise is in the People.