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:
Don’t forget the Smalls in your basket of Whos
Don’t forget the smells when you’re looking for clues
Don’t forget your nose when you’re searching for hints
Don’t forget the sense of all of the scents
Don’t forget your ear, to put to the ground
Don’t forget the slow when you forage for sounds
Don’t forget to see from the snail-point-of-view
Don’t forget the Smalls in your basket of Whos
Excited to announce two courses this fall: Deep Belonging in the Great Turning and a new course: A Hoof in Each Direction: Cultivating Earth-Rooted Wholeness. See below for brief descriptions. Follow the links to full course information or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A 6-week experience for people hearing the call to cultivate their ecospirituality and ecosensuality, deepen their decolonial journey, and practice belonging to place and purpose as we intentionally meet this collective initiation of intersecting ecological/social crises and opportunity.
WHEN: October 14 – November 18 (ONLINE PROGRAM)
TIME: 10:00am-12:00pm PST | 6pm-7:30 GMT (London)
COST: $179 (Other Options: $139-$289)
This is a 5-class series for people ready to take a deep dive into intentionally cultivating their own wholeness, exploring their own inner wilderness and eager to expand their toolbox of exploration.
WHEN: Wednesdays, November 9–December 14
TIME: 5pm-7pm PST
COST: EARLY BIRD-$125 if you register before Oct. 31
(Regular $150 starting Nov.1)
The trailhead is such a magnificent moment, carrying its own species of energy. It is a threshold of sorts—the threshold into the unknown. A crossing from one world to another.
An excitement and curiosity runs the blood hot regardless of the weather. What beauties and mysteries does the trail hold? How will this rewild me, what aspects of myself will the mountain help me re-member, reclaim?
The threshold also marks our trepidations, our fears, for we know we will be changed by the trail, by the mountain—we will return a different person. With new gifts, new perspectives, yes, but also perhaps new scratches and bruises.
The trail may stretch us into a different shape.
Truth be told, it is a risk to set off into the unknown. Am I up for climbing this mountain? This new project? This Mystery? Is my body capable? Is my psyche rooted? Am I prepared? What about my old life, habits, patterns—which of those will the mountain kill off? They may be silly habits and patterns and ways of seeing, but they are MY cute and pathetic habits and patterns and ways of seeing. They are comfortable.
But you cross anyway, because you’re not going for just comfort, but for Life, your Whole Self, because everything up to this point has prepared you for the journey. You may not know what is around the next switchback, but you know you will greet it with all you have—you are on the right path. It might not be THEIR path, but it is YOURS.
The paradox is that you already aren’t the same person that is taking that first step. And yet there’s something about enacting the visceral visitation of each paw print along the path that gets that truth in you down in your bloods and bones.
So You step from the trailhead onto the trail, with dedicated feet and an eager heart.
WILD NATURE HEART is:
A Geo-Mystical Cracking
A Hoof in Each Direction
A Bright Green Trust
A Spiraling Upward
Heartbroken and Whole
Vulnerable and Robust
A Tender and Savage Pulse
A Yes in the Darkness
A Threshold of Unrelenting Mystery
Bright and Slow Caress
A Strange Curiosities Tent at the Festival of Slow Surrendering
A Sacred Stillness
A Cairn of Holy Longing
A Whale Ear of Deep Listening
Deep Time Love
A Pollination Party
The Grand Metabolism
Holding the Holy Wholing
A Cunning Silence
An Enchanted Experimentation