At my uncle's last night; a gathering of family from far and wide (the second time in just over two weeks) to celebrate my Auntie Sylvia's life.
As more and more people arrived to give hugs, enjoy food and settle in some of us moved downstairs where it was cooler; plunked in comfy chairs, loveseats and the couch. My uncle pulled up a chair and with that placement we had the forming of a circle. Slowly, one person or two at a time, more filtered downstairs and the circle grew. The storytelling began. More joined the circle. More storytelling. The suggestion of moving out into the backyard but no one moved. The energetics were holding us there. A lovely space for our family. When another person arrived and chose to sit right in the centre on the ottoman I could feel a little ripple, people peering, leaning around to keep the connections flowing. An offer to ‘take my seat' shifted the person to the side and instead of switching places I simply moved to the rim.
I'm not sure how long we were there together – a while – and eventually some had to say their good nights and get ready for the day ahead. Cleaning up, my uncle repeated that we should have moved outside. I shared that what happened downstairs was beautiful – a self-organizing coming together and it wouldn't have been the same had we tried to control it and relocate it (in the backyard we would have been broken up into smaller groups here and there – it didn't have the kind of seating conducive to how we came together in the basement). I assured him it was okay that we stayed where we were. Good, even. He smiled.
Spontaneous circles. Self-organizing magic. Storytelling. Ancient, sacred space for our family that has been through some low valleys these past few weeks.