When Women Gather
By Parlee Jones
Parlee, in green blouse, with her “crew”
“When women gather, great things will happen.”
~ Leymah Gbowee
Peace Worcester People! Hoping all is well in your world. I am not very fond of big crowds, but in order to maintain some sort of socialization with the world, I do enjoy spending time with positive people!
I am so blessed to have many amazing people in my life. A lot of my circles connect in one way or another. Some do not connect at all. They consist of men, women and children from all walks of life. I truly enjoy them all, but I find that I gain amazing energy and do wonderful things when women gather! And as much as I love my brothers and building with them, today I am talking about what happens When Women Gather.
Women have been gathering since the beginning that never was. To celebrate womanhood, to celebrate marriage, to deliver children, to call blessings and bring blessings, to honor the ancestors, to become the ancestors, to cook, take care of babies and all the other things we do now.
From the many woman warriors and queens in ancient Africa to the sewing circles with Sojourner and Harriet to cooking for the masses during the 60’s and 70’s. In between we have wedding showers, baby showers, reunions, birthdays, girls’ nights and all other hosts of gatherings. Today, you can become part of a group on Facebook. Although, you never really know who is on the other side.
This month I had the pleasure of celebrating the upcoming marriage of my beautiful friends M and D. A beautiful event where we were able to share and celebrate the union of these two wonderful souls. Delicious food is usually a staple when women gather, because food brings people together. We love sharing our delicious recipes. “Mama Bear” created such a beautiful place in her home. There were many women I consider allies in this space, and as usual, when socially aware folks get together, there will always be that corner of the space where conversations around politics and work we are doing, nationally and locally are being held. Even though, we vow not to talk about “all that,” it’s hard when activism is how you live your life. Not just your job. Glad to be a part of such a pleasant energy.
Growing up, we all have that group of friends that will be friends forever. We go off and do our thing and are lucky enough to pick up where we left off when we meet again. This is the best thing about Facebook. To be able to glimpse friends lives as we continue on our own paths. My friend Jeni came up for an aunts funeral and we were able to come together with myself and my sister, Jeni, Laurie, Allise and Charmaine. I don’t think that group of women has been together, collectively in over 20 years. Catching up on babies, and grands, the men in our lives, past and present and what we have been up to. The good and the bad, because that is what life is made up of.
Family gathering and cook-out!
And then … the photo albums!!! All those old pics from when we were younger, care free and had the world at our feet! What a great evening. Wine, also a very vital part of some gatherings, along w/ other spirits if desired. We, definitely have to do this again, with many more from that era who are still around. Best memories of the evening involved the Black Debutantes, the Rainbow / VIP, concerts at the Providence Civic Center and some brothers we are glad were avoided!!!
And last month … Celebrating the 92nd Birthday of Ms. Elease Moses. My children’s great grandmother on their father’s side. You all know how important Sankofa is to me, knowing the past to move forward in the future, so being in Brooklyn was a priority!
Parlee and Athena, Abby’s House heroines!
Five generations of the Moses Family celebrating their Matriarch at Seaview Park in Canarsie Brooklyn. It was wonderful. All the cousins and babies and food and elders, and friends, new and old! So nice to see folks I haven’t seen in years. And again, we were able to see the gifts of the women. How easily we can engage in conversation and at the same time, have your eye trained on the children and where they are and are they safe. Naiema, Julie, on point!!! Our gift of prayer and meditation, bringing energy and spirit to ciphers, along w/ ancestor energy.
MacPhine, Francis, Yvonne. Always love. Tamika, so beautiful! Born, Supreme, DaShon, Eleasa Refine, Nashon, Naquan, Lil Naquan, Dupreme, Jameena. Ella Mae’s team. My children’s grandmother, who made a way for me when I needed to get out of dodge. Made a way for me on my journey to find myself. I miss you much.
Women. When Women Gather.
Nothing but love.
I have a few other circles very near and dear, but I will keep them to myself for now because that is another thing we women do: we know when to Knowledge and when to Wisdom. Always to bring about an Understanding. For where two or three are gathered together … there I am in the midst of them. Because the greatest of these is love.
I will end with a quote from my sister, Tracy: “When women gather … just to be together … with or without an agenda a beautiful thing happens. They connect to each other and to the invisible feminine and their energy combined has no choice but to create something beautiful because women ~ whether they have physical children or not, are creators and when they gather just to be together … spirit is moved, energy is lifted and love is born!”
Family ~ Five Generations
Family ~ Five Generations
Gathering of Women ~ Good Friends
Gathering of Women ~ Good Friends
Leymah Roberta Gbowee is a Liberian peace activist responsible for leading a women’s peace movement, Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace that helped bring an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate.
“We are tired of war. We are tired of running. We are tired of begging for bulgur wheat. We are tired of our children being raped. We are now taking this stand, to secure the future of our children. Because we believe, as custodians of society, tomorrow our children will ask us, ‘Mama, what was your role during the crisis?’
“The Liberian women peace movement demonstrated to the world that grassroots movements are essential to sustaining peace; that women in leadership positions are effective brokers for peace; and the importance of culturally relevant social justice movements. Liberia’s experience is a good example to the world that women — especially African women — can be drivers of peace.”