Dear Wild Nature Hearts,
A few days ago, I woke up feeling overwhelmed. I sensed my imagination waning. Perhaps you can relate to that sensation of constriction that can arise when you’ve been digesting too much about climate catastrophes, shameless capitalist exploitation and commodification, patriarchal domination and supremicist abuses of all kinds. The energies of both anger and grief swirled in me, that these systems of impoverished imagination are running rampant over so many lives, that it doesn’t have to be this way.
I wondered how to deepen my role in enriching our heartstorming for co-creating systems that support life and liberation. Then I took/gave a sacred pause with mycelium and fungi (see Mycelium Gratitude below) that were newly emerging after the first greatly appreciated rains of the season. The yellowing bay leaves among the redwoods and beautiful slugs and snails joined the conversation. They helped re-invigorate an imagination that had been temporarily truncated by dominant/dominator culture.
I was reminded of all the unseen, unlifted and beautiful work and play that is being done in service of Life and Liberation. How both slow and rapid processes are involved in breaking down the old and building up the new. How growth can be slow like giant trees adding ring upon ring over great stretches of time or quick like mushrooms popping up over night with sudden exuberance (puhpowee, in the Potawatomi language, according to Robin Wall Kimmerer).
How unseen networks link whole ecosystems, non-human and human. How intimately connected seemingly far-flung people and events are. For example, how intricately bound up the women and girls uprising in Iran against an abusive regime is
to struggles in the United States for women’s right to bodily autonomy and growing resistance to patriarchal censorship and control, to black liberation struggles for reparations and against police brutalities, to indigenous struggles for sovereignty, #landback, and the rights of river and salmon, to Ukrainian people’s resistance and and workers everywhere flexing their muscles for dignity. These are mycelium webs of mutual liberation.
As Rebecca Solnit writes in her book ‘Hope in the Dark’:
“Mushroomed: after a rain mushrooms appear on the surface of the earth as if from nowhere. Many do so from a sometimes vast underground fungus that remains invisible and largely unknown. What we call mushrooms mycologists call the fruiting body of the larger, less visible fungus. Uprisings and revolutions are often considered to be spontaneous, but less visible long-term organizing and groundwork-or underground work-often laid the foundation. Changes in ideas and values also result from work done by writers, scholars, public intellectuals, social activists, and participants in social media.”
I would throw into this circle all of us treehugger tricksters, wild wind whisperers, full moon mystics, water wizards and sensual witches, heartbeat healers, all of us getting in the ‘good trouble’ of putting our shoulders to the wheel of the Great Turning in our unique way, especially when we link our gifts to collective change.
Solnit concludes, “It seems insignificant or peripheral until very different outcomes emerge from transformed assumptions about who and what matters, who should be heard and believed, who has rights. All that these transformations have in common is that they begin in the imagination, in hope. To hope is to gamble. It’s to bet on the future, on your desires, on the possibility that an open heart and uncertainty is better than gloom and safety. To hope is dangerous, and yet it is the opposite of fear, for to live is to risk.”
Autumn is a season of deepening. As we continue to apprentice to slug and mycelium, to listening better to the more-than-human world and those growing liberation, we practice slowing down to be with what is here. It enables us to take the next right step, and to build the capacity to hold the charges and changes at our doorstep, personally and collectively.
Thank you for reading. May we belong to earth’s season, may we belong to the season of our lives. May we keep our muscles of imagination strong, vibrant, and full of surprises.
with spontaneous emergences and the slow growth forest of us,
read the full October Newsletter: