Sixth Council Meeting of Council of European Grandmothers
Impressions of the 6th Meeting held in Reykjadalur i Mosfellsdal, Iceland from 19th to 22nd September 2019, Topic – Peace
International Peace Day in Collaboration with the UN in Iceland
We all experienced this meeting on the island in the middle of the North Atlantic as being so special. Was it because of the topic “peace” itself, with which we connected intensely in advance? Was it the rhythm of the program which took up the pulse of bringing consciousness inward in form of meditation and outward by expressing ourselves internally and in public? (This we experienced so obviously after evening meditations when words came out of silence like lotus flowers rising from the depth of a lake.) Was it because more than half of the grandmothers were involved this time in creating and guiding parts of the program? Was it due to the 15 guests who gave their hearty contributions and attention? Was it the parts played by art, which addressed our soul and senses: Watching a huge scales loaded with burning pieces of wood in the darkness of a stormy night; Being touched by a peace poem, created as gift for this meeting; Listening to Monika playing the harp introducing morning and evening meditations; Tasting energizing colourful herbal drinks? Or being surrounded by warm water heated by the powers of Mother Earth? All of this happened during a weekend, while 1,4 million people worldwide were protesting to stop climate change. This truly allowed the enfolding of a vibrant field in which the topic “Peace” cycled around in many variations…..
Grandmothers present at the meeting:
Aldona, Beate, Bette, Daiva, Elisabeth, Erika, Helga, Irene, Isabel, Madeleine, Maria, MaryAnne, Mary, Monika, Sabina, Sissy, Soizig, Tina, Toni, Vibeke, Wenche.
Nolwenn and 15 guests
With us in spirit:
Thursday, 19th September 2019
There was great joy for all of us meeting after 9 months. Our venue was a holiday spot for disabled children, located between green mountains with a warm pool and hot tub in the back.
Friday, 20th September 2019
Monika, our host grandmother, presented a colourful Peace Staff, which she and her friend, Guðfinna had prepared. It was Blessed by each of us and given a Place of Honour.
Each of us brought an Offering for the Peace Altar.
The Peace Poem, a gift from Kristján Hreinsson to the European Grandmother Council, was read by Monika in Icelandic and by Soizig in English
Í friði lifir fögur sál
Sem finnur lífsins mildi,
Sem skynjar hjartans hlýja bál
Og heimsins traustu gildi.
Og friðurinn er festa manns
Sem faðmlag kann að bjóða
Sem nýtur þess að náðin hans
Hún nær til allra þjóða.
Því viska friðar virkar best
Ef vilt þú úlfúð sefa
Og hefur það í huga flest
Sem hjartað kann að gefa.
In peace lives a beautiful soul
that finds the gentleness of life,
that understands the heart’s warm flame
and the world’s most trusted values.
And peace is the determination of a man
who knows how to offer an embrace
who enjoys that his grace
reaches all the world’s nations.
For the wisdom of peace works the best
if you wish to soothen the controversy
and simply keep in mind all of that
the heart knows how to give.
(translation by PállÓskar)
All present were then requested to create a small Poster showing the word for Peace in their native Language.
Astrid, a young teacher from Germany, who had been involved in the Grandmother Council in Germany 2016, was invited to share her experiences with a Peace Project, created by herself, in her school. She presented touching texts from her students about Peace. This generated an idea that Astrid would speak about one of her students, a girl from Syria at the Public meeting in Thjoðminjasafn, on the Peace day.
After Lunch, the Grandmothers met in closed session and each presented a brief report on their work for Peace. These included:
- Working for Peace and Reconciliation in war torn areas
- Being a Voice for the voiceless
- Developing Inner Peace
- Human Rights
- Conservation and Bio Diversity
- The Influence of the Collective Consciousness
- Working with Refugees
- Releasing balloons for Peace
- Climate Change
- Peace being an Experience
- Resuscitation of the Feminine Principle
- Health Challenges
- Encouraging Inner Growth in others
- Using Storytelling
- Overcoming conditionings
- Challenges of accepting the ‘What Is’ of the moment and going with the flow.
After a short Break, Eike joined the meeting to update the council on her Walfahrt project. She intends to have the series of 13 books complete for a Launch in October 2021 at Germany’s largest private Art Gallery at Eckernförde near Kiel on the Baltic Sea.
In the evening Gerhard König, the inventor of what is called a Fire Scales, demonstrated the balancing act of Nature’s yearly cycle between the Masculine and Feminine Energies.
International Peace Day
Saturday, 21st September 2019
Tuning in on the Theme of Peace by Meditation.
Peace Day Ceremony 1 in the town of Mosfellsbaer
In a circular building decorated with an Exhibition of paintings and sculptures concerning the topic “Peace” created by the children of the preschool Rjupnahaed, we were welcomed by two deputies from Mosfellsbaer and Kopavogsbaer. The principal Hrönn Valentinusdottir explained that the children were asked open questions about “Peace” in group meetings. Out of this they produced their paintings and stories.
The essence: In a safe and loving environment I can be with myself.
A choir of children from the preschools sang a Peace Song for us. Grandmother Sabina danced the story of Lily Butterfly, written by herself. read more …
Peace Day Ceremony 2
In the afternoon, we went by bus to Reykjavik for the Opening of Peace Day in Thjodminjasafn by the former Chairman of the United Nations Association (U.N.A.), Thröstur Freyr Gylfason.
Each of the Grandmothers identified themselves, and 4 of them spoke about their personal Peace Projects. Helga spoke about Inner peace read more …, Irene spoke about her support for refugees read more …, Beate spoke about the suppression of Sami people in Norway read more … and Elisabeth spoke about her work with refugees. read more … Astrid shared a little of her Peace Project with refugee children and read a letter from a Syrian girl. read more …
Pall Oskar, Monika´s musician partner, summarized the content of the songs in English before he sang and Monika played the Harp for us
One hour Peace Walk through Reykjavik
Our Sami Grandmother carried the Peace Stuff ahead.
When we returned home, Monika had a surprise in store – a Rainbow Drinks Party by the pool, prepared by Aslaug Snorradottir, who had created Colourful non-alcoholic Herbal Drinks, which were most refreshing.
Sunday, 22nd September 2019
Following Meditation and Breakfast, we headed off by bus to Reykjanes for a Ritual. For many of us it was the first time we left the city precincts. Very suddenly the city vanished and the real landscape of Iceland, so very different and so very stark and beautiful, appeared.
Ritual – Invocation of the Elements
Led by the Peace Staff, we formed into a large circle and called in the Four Elements:
Earth from the North by Monika (Iceland)
Water from the West by Mary (Ireland)
Fire from the South by Isabel (Spain)
Air from the East by Daiva (Lithuania)
Maria (Europe) called in the Centre. All present offered Gratitude and Prayers to Mother Earth.
After lunch back at base the Grandmothers met in Closed Session to discuss the Future.
Grandmothers Meeting 2020 – 7th Meeting
Following discussion, it was agreed that the 7th Meeting of the Council will take place in Sweden from 19th to 22nd June 2020. The Proposed Topic will be Life – How to Support Life – Inner Life – Motherhood and the Feminine Principle.
Grandmothers and guests completed our meeting by performing the “Daughters and Sons of the Earth”- Ritual, guided by Erika.
After dinner we listened to Ragnheiðu Ólafsdottir, who sang very Old Icelandic songs without instruments – Kveðskapur. She is preserving an Old Icelandic tradition.
Alongside the official program we saw a huge rainbow, we were surprised whom we met in the pool at daybreak, we had some very trustful talks and we laughed until we curled up.
We were embraced by a cheerful field of peace which nourished every day the space to be our SELF.
A big Thank You to Monika and all supporters in the background!
Fotos: Laura Calletti