by Anne Kathleen McLaughlin Published by Borealis Press
Why Would you Read it?
You hold a book in your hands, one you’ve not yet opened. You feel a tingling anticipation as you prepare to enter a story, a setting with imaginary characters. What are you seeking? Will an action, an insight, a decision of one of these characters shed light on your own unanswered questions about life? Will there be something that responds to the longings in your heart?
As a young woman, wondering where my life was leading, I read Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. I still recall my astonishment at her habit of taking solitary walks where she pondered her life’s path. After a time of great suffering and loss, Jane was offered security in a loveless marriage to an idealistic clergyman who needed a wife for his missionary endeavours. After taking time to consider, Jane refused his offer. I still hear her words: “No, I cannot marry you. I have been loved.” I knew even then that Jane’s wisdom, her sure knowing, came from within her.
Through the next decades of my life, I explored inner wisdom, discovering through sources such as the writings of women mystics, feminist theologians, ancient stories, indigenous wisdom and Celtic Spirituality, the inner journey to wisdom.
Singing the Dawn is my way of sharing what I’ve come to know of this journey, guided by the Love that pervades the Universe and dwells within each of us.
I began with the questions: What if a seed survived from Brigid’s fifth-century monastery in Kildare, Ireland? What if that seed was planted in the ninth century by a follower of Brigid on an island off the west coast of Ireland? What if that seed grew into a Communion of Women that still exists today?
The story begins when a young woman from Canada, soul-starved for a spirituality that honours the wisdom of the natural world, embodied feminine wisdom, and her desire for self-fulfillment, is mysteriously drawn to this island beyond the ninth wave. Will she find what she longs for among these seven women each with her own tale of allurement to the Communion of Star of the Sea?
Singing the Dawn is a fictional tale offering soul nourishment for women as well as men who share these longings. It is published by Borealis Press in Ottawa, Canada
Comments from Readers
This fascinating, intriguing and heart-warming tale of the return of the feminine Sophia…(puts) into words what I only intuited so many years ago, (bringing) home the drastic results that occur when the feminine is forgotten, ignored… Mother Earth is yearning to be recognized and revered as a sacred blessing in our time. Your story… is so timely and so needed today. Its publication will be a blessing and a healing for the future life of our planet and indeed, the entire universe. The Sacred Feminine has accompanied and led you in all the labyrinthine ways of your life story. Others now will be blessed and encouraged to be attentive to her Sacred Presence in their lives. Kathleen Lyons CSJ
I like how you handle the “overlap” of the magical islands…with glimpses of the “outer world” mentioned in quite realistic details: how supplies are brought in, the internet mentioned somewhere, Ohn’ya’s reflections on past memories. It deepens the sense of wonder and mystery! I find Ohn’ya’s evolution believable and compelling in its unfolding through her varied experiences here on Rose’s island… you leave us/me desiring to know what the next step will be for Ohn’ya in her journey….though she’s reached a place of greater self-awareness. Carol (Northeast New York State)
I am writing to you thru tears as I read again, and anew, your “Singing the Dawn.” It is beautiful. It flows like living waters.….(T)he narration of finding, being welcomed, by an image of divine in human form and being offered a drink of that living water spoke to the part of me that seeks to have such clarity of connection to the divine in all….the circle of women proclaiming their Source of living waters… there are many tributaries in my own life that I could write my story around — and it is a gift to recognize that, and be called to honor those flowing waters as I read your writing. Gaynell (rural Connecticut)
I’ll pour myself a cup of mint tea, bake a little salmon with greens, saving the scone for later. I have enjoyed many meals, sunrise, sunsets, swims with Onya and the women. Your art as a writer WEAVES a tapestry calling forth all the senses. Along the way I am sensing a transformation…as your being becomes the loom, “A place where harmony dwells.” Singing the Dawn is a great myth, calling our aspects (in)…You have woven a wondrous tale. Suzanne (Chicago)
I am enjoying your book so much. It takes me to a calm place during a time that is filled with chaos, isolation and uncertainty. Colleen (Ontario, Canada)
I felt I had stepped into another place and time as I entered the story. A place where I wanted to remain. I felt comforted by reading of not feeling the presence of the Lady for periods of time. I know how that feels. When I read your words I feel embraced. (Rosemary, Croton on Hudson, New York)
Through retreats, workshops, stories and plays, Anne Kathleen McLaughlin works with women who are seeking to discover the pattern of the Divine woven into the tapestry of their everyday lives. Her novels A Place Called Morning (2001), Planted in the Sky (2006) and Called to Egypt on the Back of the Wind (2013) are published by Borealis Press, Ottawa, Canada. http://borealispress.com
A member of the Community of the Grey Sisters in Pembroke, Canada Anne Kathleen holds a Master’s degree in Religious Communication /Pastoral Studies from Loyola University in Chicago.