At my first Northern California Women's Herbal Symposium, it rained like hell. We were setting up tents and trying to stay dry as best we could with rivers of water running through camp. Lots of women were pretty miserable, holed up in our separate spaces, so the organizers decided to gather us all into the big tent for songs and stories and general cheering-up. Plus, it was warmer in there.
They called for folks to come to the tent, and lots of women still hung back. So a wonderful woman named Tooth Fairy came marching through camp to gather us and encourage us to come to the big tent.
She was singing "Come, come whoever you are, even though you've broken your vows 10,000 times, come, come again..." Her song drew us out, and pretty soon everyone was singing and gathering in the big tent for what turned out to be a fun night followed by a wet-but-wonderful weekend.
Two months later, I woke up from a dream in which that song was running through my head and another voice said, "You will start a Coven. It will be called Come As You Are Coven and it will be a place where everyone can find something they are looking for." A month after that, CAYA was born, with +Molly McEnerney leading our first Mabon ritual at Live Oak Park. That was the night we met +Stella Iris and +Jack O'Bears, too.
A year or two later, at NCWHS, I saw a note on the altar that said, "Tooth Fairy, we miss you." I presumed she had died, as she was already quite advanced in age. However, I was wrong, and two years later at NCWHS I found out that Tooth Fairy wasn't dead- she had just decided at the age of 80 or so to move to Guatemala! My friend Nymiah gave me Tooth Fairy's beat-up old hat at that gathering.
At CAYA's first Harvest Home Giveaway ritual, before we gave items to each other, we gathered items of significance to the Coven to give to the Earth Herself. One of the items I gave to the Earth was Tooth Fairy's hat, with the wish that she be blessed and safe and well wherever she went. We buried those items in a dry creek in Middletown.
I saw her once more, at NCWHS a year or so ago. We smiled and spoke briefly. It was nice to be able to thank her for her inspiration.
Last week, Tooth Fairy finally did cross over. This photo is Tooth Fairy smiling in her sleep a few days before she died.
Much love, gratitude, and many blessings to Tooth Fairy as she ventures out of the body on her next journey. We in CAYA would not be here if it was not for her song. Because of Tooth Fairy, we have an example of how one woman singing can impact thousands of people. Hail and farewell!