Ripples of Wisdom - The Final Leg

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Kitty Kennedy and Nancy Scheibe, on the journey together.
Kitty Kennedy and Nancy Scheibe,
on the journey together. © Nancy Scheibe

Ripples of Wisdom is currently on the water, kayaking from St. Louis, Missouri to the Gulf of Mexico at Grand Isle, Louisiana. The journey started in 2004 as a way for Nancy Scheibe to do something significant to celebrate her 50th birthday, while leaving behind the negative energy like "you're over the hill" that kept coming her way. Nancy and her companions paddled 570 miles from the Mississippi's headwaters to Red Wing, Minnesota.

Paddling partner Kitty Kennedy chronicled the 2007 second leg of the journey in Water * Wisdom * Women - A Voyage of Discovery. Red Wing to St. Louis, Missouri let another 634 miles of the Mighty Miss pass under their hulls.

A Gathering, of Women of Wisdom. © Nancy Scheibe
A Gathering, of Women of Wisdom. © Nancy Scheibe

This year's journey acknowledges the wisdom women acquire through the joys and challenges in everyday life. It's the culmination of a project to connect this powerful body of water with the power that lies within each of us. We celebrate the value, power and sacred abilities of women by giving the "Grandmothers" a voice, gathering their truths and sowing those seeds far and wide. Grandmother is a title of great respect that recognizes wisdom born out of time and experience. This term embraces women age 50 and older, whether or not they have had children or grandchildren.

During the planning for her trip Nancy decided she would like to meet other women choosing to live life to its fullest. "I thought it would be interesting to talk to women along the river, to hear their stories," said Scheibe.

While paddling each section, Gatherings of women are held along the way. At these Gatherings, the Grandmothers are asked to share their stories and wisdom. Nine Gatherings will be held on this final leg of the river and women from all walks of life are encouraged to participate. Check out the itinerary for Gathering locations. Many women come to the Gathering just to listen because, in their opinion, they have nothing to offer. They then proceed to share incredible stories of the human spirit. It is for these women in particular that the journey has come to be so important.

I am Woman, hear me roar...
"I am Woman, hear me roar... " © Nancy Scheibe

In the eight years since the project began, it has also grown to include a team of women doing the planning and paddling, with the aid of an entire community of support. The core team consists of founder Nancy Scheibe; Kitty Kennedy, who paddled the entire second leg of the journey in 2007; Gwyn McKee, who provided car support in 2007 and will paddle two legs of this journey; and Heidi Favet, who has assisted behind the scenes from the beginning and will join the paddling team for two legs of the final journey.

Ripples of Wisdom is financed through a variety of fundraising activities, including "Ripples of Wisdom" products for sale and lots of fundraisers. The group is proud of our business sponsors: Current Designs, NRS, Thunderbird Wildlife Consulting, The Original Bug Shirt Company and Jack Pine Cary Enterprises.

The Final Gathering will take place Friday, October 28 at Grand Isle, Louisiana. We hope you'll be able to join us!

Heidi Favet
Ely, Minnesota