The only way to have a sustainable future is to create it . . .
Imagine. Women around the world gathering together for a global celebration.
Teacher and performer, Ubaka Hill, Founder of the Million Women Drummers Gathering, did just that. At the drumming event held on Oct. 13, 2013 in New Paltz, NY, Ubaka began by addressing the audience:
“This is a vision and it’s an intiative . . . This is our time. This is our turn. This is our legacy.” Drummers were encouraged to be mindful of the origins of drums and other musical instruments and respect the trees which were used to make them.
Although everyone was invited, the fact that the event focused on women’s power made it all the more unique. Led by several female vocalists, participants welcomed the four directions, turning to the East, South, West and finally, the North. While looking northward, we were encouraged to express our gratitude to the Mother, the divine feminine which has given us so much, including our very lives.
There was such incredible power coming from the voices of the the women who were leading us that it seemed as if they were breaking the sound barrier. The experience highlighted the potency of the human voice, out in the open and unhindered, calling out to the earth and sky. There was so much energy released that there can be no doubt of the vital spiritual tide that was created.
During the gathering, “Letters to the Future” were read, expressing the need to nourish and sustain the earth and to not take the trees or any part of our environment for granted.
Drumming together in the wide open field of the Ulster Fairgrounds, we were bonded in our commitment to be stewards of the earth, a necessary and formidable task in our current world climate. We were all given a ribbon to tie to nearby trees, creating a deeper connection to the life around us. Personal responsibility was one of the major goals stressed, as well as collectively uniting to protect our environment and to plant more trees to ensure that we replenish what has been taken.
Donna Coane, lead drummer of Spirit of Thunderheart, told us of a great prophecy.
When the tops of our maple trees die, the women will take back the drum.”
It appears that this time has come. Women are gathering throughout the world, keeping rhythm with the heart of the earth. Loving our world, giving back to nature, and respecting the feminine — the mother — which has sustained us in more ways than we can possibly imagine, is not only our duty but will be our legacy.
All Photos by Angelina Perri Birney