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For the weekend we were not in session but had special events planned. On Saturday we went to the community center called “Mthinkhulu Village Centre” in Kleinmond, a project spearheaded by Sally Timmel and Anne Hope, who have truly earned their “saint” status in the Grail.  Not just one building, but a large campus with many buildings, the purpose of the center is to create jobs for a community with 70% joblessness, as well as a place for children and adults to learn.

There we met many women who are Grail and Grail friends in the Western Cape who had come for the day. There were about 150 of us all together.  They created a ritual of the Spiral of Our Journeys and several faith traditions were represented, Sufi, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and we “spiraled” through the journeys of “Origins,” “Conquest—conquered,” “Struggle,” “Liberation-freedom,” “Integration/Interconnectedness” led beautifully by each of the facilitators.  We moved from small group to small group and shared the answers to such questions as “What in me and in the world is still colonized and wounded?, “What is it that I need to continue the struggle for true transformation in myself and in the world?”

But by far the thing that moved me most was the opening song that I later learned was written by an American friend of the Grail, Carolyn McDade.  This was the first time I had ever heard this song and I share the words with you here.

This Ancient Love
Long before the night was born from darkness
Long before the dawn rolled unsteady from fire
Long before She wrapped her scarlet arm around the hills
There was a love
This ancient love was born.
Long before the grass spotted green the bare hillside
Long before a wing unfolded to wind
Long before she wrapped her long blue arm around the sea
There was a love
This ancient love was born.

Long before a chain was forged from the hillside
Long before a voice uttered freedom’s cry
Long before She wrapped her bleeding arms around a child
There was a love
This ancient love was born.

Long before the name of a God was spoken
Long before a cross was nailed from a tree
Long before she laid her arm of colors ‘cross the sky
There was a love
This ancient love was born.

Wakeful our night, slumbers our morning
Stubborn the grass sowing green wounded hills
As we wrap our healing arms held
This ancient love, this aching love rolls on.