Every year women friends and I celebrate the iconic presence of the Mother Mary in our lives. This honoring of what she represents, mother and nourishment – whether spiritually or in the framework of religion is celebrated around the world on the 15th of August. It is the Catholic holiday commemorating the Assumption of Mary, the Mother of Jesus as she is whisked into the Heavens. I love and celebrate this day not because I am particularly religious but because it reminds me of my childhood.

As a child, living in Bavaria, in southern Germany, Maria Himmelfahrt  was a wonderful, big deal. As in other posts, on that day of celebration, the whole town comes out, children in traditional costume and crowns of flowers on their heads.  The statue of Mary is carried through town from the Abbey to the main church. A traditional and ritualistic spectacle which brings back deep feelings and sensations of childhood.

Young children adorn their favorite cows with wreathes of herbs and flowers accenting their beautiful long eyelashes and luminescent big pink noses, gentle nature. The herbs in the wreaths have special meanings and healing properties, and often contain up to 72 different herbs and flowers in one bouquet.

A way to connect with women friends that are dear, share stories – about being women, childhood memories and often retelling of myths we know both learned and intuitive.

In a group we drink and read our coffee cups and have  wine.  Our daughters join us in the lighting of the candles and writing of secret messages on little scraps of delicate paper that we then send up in smoke to the sky.