My very first NAEA conference was in San Francisco; I had left the grey, bleak, rock-bound landscape of Nova Scotia far, far behind and I was transported, magically to another world where daisy trees bloomed, where spring was in the air and in my step, where every moment, every corner was rife with potential…Anything could happen! Once in the hotel I realized, immediately, that all around me there were rituals being enacted; cries and murmurs bespoke the onset of familiar and well-beloved rites; men and women gathered, acknowledge one another with calls and cluckings, embraced even while their eyes drifted, seeking out others, felling beings who had come together, as they had done year after year. Why were they here? Why had they come?


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