My Story My Song
It's really good to be here. The journey has been rocky, painful and frustrating over the years; and also glorious. I'm still singing my song to Gaia.
I have been in love with the planet since I was a little girl. There were many ways I sang my song to her; after a rain I would gather the worms off the pavement and place them safely back in the grass before the sun could dry them; I spent hours in the creeks catching (and releasing) crayfish and salamanders; I raised a baby robin and recognized its unique song when he returned the next spring; when the winter snows weighed heavy on the hemlock trees I excitedly, with broom in hand, ran out to sweep the boughs clean. Their tops springing upright, proud and tall, glistening with bits of sparkling snow, singing a song of freedom. I loved that deep connection with all life. A love felt in every cell of my body.
It has been a very personal song. And I believe it's time to step out to sing this song with a chorus of people who are singing their song to Gaia. Together, harmonizing and building a dynamic new story, one that loves this planet alive.
My journey has been one of Activist. At times it was my full-time job; mostly it was hefty, part-time work as an engaged citizen. Writing letters and articles, marching in the street, traveling to other parts of the world to stand in solidarity. Even starting businesses to do good in the world. One was a service for office buildings picking up their recyclables before traditional waste haulers were offering services like that. Another sold 100% recycled and tree-free paper to businesses: copy paper, envelopes, notebooks and the like. My song was meant to be a healing song yet much of my activism was protesting against something rather than for something.
From the energy of "no" to the energy of "yes"
In the '90s I learned about Permaculture and natural building. I learned to build with earth and straw, and became a natural building instructor. The veil was lifted about just how much our culture makes us feel inadequate. It tells us we need to hire specialists in order to have even the basics in life: food, shelter, medicine. It creates a society of people who don't believe they can do anything substantial for themselves. I learned to the contrary that we, like the birds who don't go to architectural school to learn to build a nest, can build our own homes, and so much more.
Not only do the birds build sturdy homes without schooling, they do it with such ingenuity, creativity and flare. Some nests are amazing architectural marvels. Others are truly inspiring in their beauty and intent. Take the bower bird. The male builds a nest (above right), all to attract a mate. He excitedly decorates it with colorful, shiny objects. It is a nest built from love, using creativity, fun and play, to attract love in return. How beautiful.
These are Nature's models which we can use to understand a world that is possible. How inspiring and empowering it was to find these tools of life and community! The ability to do seemingly miraculous things by yourself and with others. After decades of focusing on the problems my world got a whole lot brighter.
Can't Give What I Don't Have
Later along the path, however, I realized, yes, my journey has been one of a love affair with the planet but it was one of destruction, too. The love I felt for Gaia didn't extend to multinational corporate owners or bankers. I wasn't seeing it all as one thing - energy, unity. There was a disconnect. Consequently I spent years in anger and frustration toward the "them" that were hurting the world, and my inability to stop it.
So I changed it. My attitude, that is. I reached out to several mentors over the years and steadily found clarity about this duality. I understood in a new way Gandhi's plea to be the peace, be the love, "be the change".
"It's over" is the same as "It's beginning"
Embracing the new story of Connection I find love conquers fear in a way hate and anger never will. Shedding the old story of Separation is a matter of opening the heart. By gathering and applying the tools of inner peace we can change the world from the inside out.
Will you join the chorus? I would be so grateful to join with you. Let's open and sing our song of love, together.