215-247-5545 box 2 susan@susanwindle.com

Wissahickon Writing CirclesFriends~

In my last post, I invited you to explore the mysteries beneath the forest floor with this astonishing Radio Lab podcast, From Tree to Shining Tree. I hope you are feeling wonderfully supported and inspired by the intricate relationships beneath our wandering feet.

I know the political urgencies of these times are real. There are serious wrongs to be righted, elections to win, deep social problems to address. Real too is the Call of the Mystery that holds us all and through which this great and often terrifying drama is unfolding. The health of the fruit we bear in this world, the very effectiveness of our work, depends on our hearing this Voice in its many variations.

Today, I offer you a verse from Shir Ha Sharim, The Song of Songs, core love-text in the Jewish canon. The Song has been drawing me in and instructing me during this last month of the Jewish year, the month of preparation for the High Holy Days. This year, I am invited, seduced even, by the voices in Shir Ha Sharim to begin my life anew with more love, more rapt attention, more sensual and spiritual delight, more energy, and greater openness to surprise. As I go about my earthly business, I relax my grip on the world. I choose to enjoy her as she comes. All of Her.

Here’s the verse:

Oh Woman in the Gardens, the listening friends hearken to your voice. Let me hear you. (Song of Songs 8:13)

And here’s the chant created for the verse by my teacher Rabbi Shefa Gold:


I invite you to become, with me, one of the “listening friends.” Perhaps, if this is your time and place, you will join us in  the Wissahickon Writing Circles that begin in early October. Wherever you are, however, you may choose to join me in my intention, as you move through your own precious days in the places where you find yourself dwelling.

The Friday circle is filling up, but we have room for one or two more. The Thursday friends are more slowly gathering. Please let me know now if you are called to join us on either of these two afternoons in the fall. 

For registration details, see the Upcoming Events on this page. For a description of the groups visit the Writing Circles page on this website.

And before I go, one more gift:

Lady of the Wissahickon

Have you met the Lady of the Wissahickon?
Will all who have been kissed by Her,
please rise?

Or if you have not been kissed
but have felt her gentle presence
in your movements through this valley,
or have been stopped somewhere on your way,
arrested, creek-side, by a whisper
or a word— water collecting with a tear
in the well of your eye, or a nameless ache
in the silt at the bottom of your throat,
an ache that summons you, calls you down
to your center, down to yourself,
the oneself that breathes beneath you
in the core of the rocks metamorphic,
full of starry fire—
if you have been met like this,
please tell.

If you weep with the Lady, sing!
This sorry world needs you—
your throat, your mouth
around her long lament,
your plural song.

With many blessings for a fruitful year,


Susan Windle


Susan Windle | Photo by Beverly Rich

Upcoming Events

  • Fall Wissahickon Writing Circles: 7 Thursday and Friday Afternoons, beginning October 6, 7. 2:30-4:45 PM. The Cedars House (In the Wissahickon Park, Forbidden Drive and Northwestern Ave, Philadelphia, PA.)  Fee: $189.00 for each seven week cycle. $170 for early bird payment by September 30.

Through the Gates

Letters and poems
illuminating each of the forty-nine days of the Omer, the ancient Jewish practice marking the days between the spring festival of Passover and the summer festival of Shavuot—for spiritual explorers of all traditions! Read more or purchase….