My phone rings. It's Catherine Moore calling from Iqaluit. Catherine and I network through a two hour time difference and across phone lines that whistle and echo so you hear every word twice. This time it's not about child care (women in the N.W.T. have talked about little else for the past year) but a request for me to be the N.W.T. "coordinator" for CCLOW as the organization heads into its tenth anniversary year. Ten years! ...it can't be.
On February 9 I head "out" from the North to Toronto to join the eleven other newly identified coordinators at a CCLOW Board meeting and workshop. I'm excited because I haven't been active in the CCLOW network for a long while and I'm anxious to see where we have come from those passionate beginnings. A church basement in Toronto is filled with about thirty women. A lot of the names are familiar from Minerva and Women's Education des femmes. Finally I find a familiar face ... Florence Flynn from Saskatchewan, a friend from the early days. No one else in the room remembers the early days; are those aging twinges in my bones or just six cramped hours in a 737?
Anniversaries have two valuable functions: to celebrate and to evaluate. I begin to wonder if nostalgia clouds my memories so I go back to documents and proceedings from the workshop in Winnipeg in 1977, the founding congress in Banff in 1979, and the second congress in Halifax in 1980. I have a sense that my life has been enmeshed and intertwined with CCLOW as I gaze back on our common herstory and journey.