I spent most of my last days of this year sitting by a creek or at the feet of giants in silence... letting the land strip away my human story and remembering my life as dragonfly kissing the water... as echidna moving through the underbrush, nose in the fragrant loamy soil... as cicada, old skin still attached to the bark of my transformational perch- chorusing the sunset... as lyrebird warbling and dancing in the undergrowth... as Mountain Ash, straight and silver barked with feet in the earth and crown in the heavens...
In its essence, The Work that Reconnects (sometimes called Deep Ecology or Active Hope) is an attempt to address the crisis of perception, otherwise known the delusion of a separate self, that is believed to be at the core of the ecological, social, and economic troubles we are currently facing. In this way, it aims to help facilitate the realization of what Thich Nhat Hanh calls ‘Interbeing’.
"Our ancestry streches back through the life forms and into the stars, back into the beginnings of the primeval fireball. This universe is a single multiform energetic unfolding of matter, mind, intelligence and life." -Brian Swimme
I'm less intertested in the names of species than I am with spending time in their company- learning to participate in their magnificence, interweaving with them, dreaming with them, singing with them... to having my being permeated with their presence...
"At every level, from atoms and molecules to cells, organs, and organisms, complex wholes arise bringing new capacities into existence. At each level, the whole acts through its parts to achieve more than we could ever imagine from examining the parts alone. So what new capacities emerge when groups of people act together to form larger systems? 'Joanna Macy"
It's the intricacy, complexity and shining intelligence of this world, the way each life reverberates across the whole web, the inability to affect one thing without affecting everything else in turn... that is becoming increasingly clear to me... it's this that makes me want to cry out at the wonder, beauty and perfection of it all.
"Pain for the world is not only natural, it is a necessary component of our healing. As in all organisms, pain has a purpose: it is a warning signal, designed to trigger remedial action. It is not to be banished by injections of optimism or sermons on “positive thinking.” It is to be named and validated as a healthy, normal human response to the situation we find ourselves in. Faced and experienced, its power can be used. As the frozen defenses of the psyche thaw, new energies and intelligence are released."-Joanna Macy
Right now we are living in the midst of the 6th great mass extinction... and current estimates say we are losing between 100 and 200 species a day.
The most recent UN report says over a million species are threatened with extinction in the next few decades.
Stop. Breathe. Feel.
After growing up on a farm, living amongst the exquisite wildness of Cape Town, safari guiding in the bush and then living 5 years in the Amazon jungle studying plant medicine, the last two years in the city have been an initiation on many levels. I've had to learn to cultivate the space and atmosphere for relationship and re-enchantment with my Earth body that usually comes quite easily to me when I'm living in natural or remote places and especially when my last job was facilitating plant medicine retreats and dietas under the guidance of peoples who hold a primarily animist worldview- kinda cheating, haha
I prefer to trust my own senses and experience- as it appears that both sides also fall prey to their own confirmation bias and in many ways, I feel that focusing all our attention on global climate change and carbon levels is a reduction of a much wider, and possibly more serious problem happening in clear view of us all: Widespread, catastrophic land and ecosystem degradation and loss of biodiversity (which is also inseparable from climate).