I can still remember the exact moment I spotted Lilikoi's tendriled, amethyst body in a sea of lush green forest... her celestial scent mingled with the heady humus of the jungle floor...
I've noticed a lot of cicadas around at the moment and I came across a number of dead and dying ones on a recent walk through the forest. A lifelong lover of these wild, chorusing beings... I gently and reverently cupped one in the palm of my hand as it beat it's wings for the last time and then curled it's tiny legs inward, passing quietly from this form. Savoring the sweet intimacy of the moment, I laid it gently back on the ground and sat near it's resting place in the dappled green light of the leaf-filtered sun... humus scented air and the not-too-distant call of a lyrebird...
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
"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