Back in the early 80’s Ayesha came down from Pennsylvania to lead dancing around an open campfire as the inaugural event of our newly opened Baltimore area Sufi Center. Dancing with her was wonderous, joyous, everyone luxuriating in the spiritual high. As we ruminated privately, with satisfaction, over a glass of wine later in the evening, remembering how the smoke from the fire was blowing into peoples faces, Ayesha began putting amusing spins on her comments, that soon had both of us literally howling with laughter. I have never laughed as deeply as I did that evening with Ayesha. I cherish that healing memory.
Ayesha has been on my mind in the past few months. Five years have gone by since her passing (June, 2007), and I still think of her often.
Last week we went to Philadelphia for the funeral of my husband’s uncle, who died at age 95. The three days were more of a family gathering and connection than a sad event – as this was a man who had lived a good and long life, and was ready to go. He had lived for many years in a house on Shelburne Road in Springfield, and before we left I was checking out the map, and saw that Mansion Road, where Ayesha had once lived, was only one street over from Shelburne. I don’t remember for sure if I went to see Ayesha there; there remains only a fragmentary memory of passing the house. I doubt they ever met, just a small connection nice to know about.
What I do remember is visiting with Ayesha in the nursing home several days before her passing, and seeing the luminosity in her face, the light shining through.
My life has been enriched because of having known her.
A long time ago Ayesha brought forth a beautiful dance invoking Ixchel, the Mayan Jaguar Goddess, protector, healer and holder of women through the cycle of life, and in particular childbirth.
This gorgeous dance pretty much disappeared in the US, but found it’s way to South America, where it landed in the hearts of Latin American dance leaders and dance circles. And now these dance leaders, who live on the same part of our planet that birthed the Maya civilization, are bringing this dance back, full circle, to North America. Such is the cycle of life, and death, constantly re birthing. And such is the nature of Dances of Universal Peace as they take root around the world. Ayesha would be so delighted!
I am also delighted! So nice to reconnect and remember you through this.
At our weekend retreat with Wali Ali just past, he spoke of this poignant picture of our dear sister Ayesha, with one foot in the other world, holding her newborn granddaughter just entering this world. I had visited this page just days before, so knew exactly the picture, exactly the sweet sadness of this moment. Ya Muhyi, Ya Mumit, Ya Hayy! Peace to you, precious sister of the heart! I’m so grateful for your life, and feel so blessed to have known you. Your cozy knit caps are filled with your baraka and beauty, and are my constant companions through each Winter season. Ya Shakur, Dear One!
I was a friend of Ayesha’s years ago and knew her through the folk song society and various musical events. She was always kind and full of light. I moved to Arizona in July of 06 and did not know of her passing however I had heard that she was very sick. Now, in 2013, her old friend Terry O’conner and I attended a meditation session in Ardmore. The teacher said ” You two have a mutual friend, a healer , she is interested in your conversation about drums, she is glad to be here watching you two. We didn’t know who he was referring to. Then he said
“Her name is Ayesha” well, Jeannie is still around in spirit!!!