Hello and welcome to Growing Edge, a blog dedicated to transforming human structures and systems for a better world. We write about social and spiritual leadership, permaculture, storytelling and living the New Story. If you want to bring about community and cultural change, you have come to the right place.
I haven't been ill in a very long time... and this week I found myself with a raging sore throat, aches and other unpleasant symptoms. I attribute this to a deeper internal transformation underway. In my experience, my resistance is lower than usual to such influences when I am deeply open to change...
Lucky me! (really!) I get the chance to just STOP, take care of myself and find my center. In my weakened state, with gentle self-care, I am treated to a brilliant autumn display here at Dancing TreePeople Farm. Armed with a few throat lozenges, hot tea, and spiced with honey from our farm ---I let the sun warm my face, tend to my aching body. How good it is to sink into the beauty of this place and allow it to heal me.
From Timberlake Farm Earth Sanctuary to St. Francis/St. Emma in Powhaten, VA, today the presence of Thomas Berry was evident. Serendipity led us to the beautiful meeting at Timberlake where we conversed about Thomas (and John). I was taken with the place and the energies that created it and reminded that we need our great story to guide us along with inspiration from within. I also found myself sharing so much about what was happening at home in Lake County around local food, timebanking and entrepreneurship and noticed an overwhelming sadness well up within me when I shared the plight of our local watershed and the struggle to protect it.
...from Rockhaven in Missouri to Illinois to Indiana (twice), where we stopped at St. Mary of the Woods (White Violet Center for Eco Justice and CSA) and Michaela Farms and a visit with Sister Karla Barker, Sisters of St. Francis in Oldenberg, Indiana and then through Ohio to Kentucky. I LOVE all the people we met who have devoted their lives to working for Earth. Whew, what a day.
Rockhaven Ecozoic Center... Feels like home. We will take a couple of days here in House Springs to remember John and catch up with Jan, Diza and Maco.
Loretta has hundreds of photos of John spread out on the dining room table... recreating a photo album for his memorial service in Virginia in a few days. Signs of John are everywhere here at Rockhaven, a place he loved and with people who loved him.
Today we drove through Kansas. No sign of "Dorothy or Toto", but abundant sightings of wind turbines creating energy as they turned slowly on the hillsides. Denise and I realized that this is a new addition to the landscape along I-70, from when we had traveled this way almost five years ago. There may have been a few then, but now they are plentiful.
John's passion for promoting his project: "Love and Peace to the Whole World" went through many transitions. In fact it started as " Mother Earth against Money" until he had a conversation with Denise in 2006 about setting up a website for his dream. She encouraged him to put a positive spin on his message and so, "People 4 Mother Earth" was conceived. Each year John created a new bumper sticker. In 2009 the message was: Sun and Wind Power Now! Though John recognized, as we do, the hazards that come along with wind turbines, he felt strongly that there was an urgent need to create alternative fo…
The driving was easy - mostly straight and relatively flat. With a speed limit of 75mph, except in some construction spots, and two drivers we chose to travel over 720 miles so we could take it a little easier when we got into more congested areas. We started in Utah, drove through Wyoming and Colorado, and are ready for a good night's sleep in Goodland, Kansas. John is surely pleased with us. :-)
I've noticed that people ask one of two questions when we stop for gas or something to eat. "Where are you from? or "Where are you going?" We certainly have the look of being "tourists". Yesterday in Utah the first question was predominate. We usually answered with "Lake County" or "northern California", but when the clerk in a store in Winnemucca asked, we said Upper Lake in Lake County. Her response: "I used to live in Lake County: Lower Lake to be exact. I am going there next week to visit a friend in Hidden Valley Lake." Small…
The day began with a flock of hummingbirds wishing us a joy-filled trip – right in the middle of the food forest at Dancing TreePeople. As we entered the Sierra Nevada dark clouds and lightning hurried us through the mountains. A brief stop at the Emigrant Museum at Donner Pass brought the farm back to our minds – among the native animal species displayed (stuffed, of course) was a ground squirrel – the “arch enemy” of organic walnut orchards.
The best part of our day was having lunch in Sacramento with Zac Sergio and his mother, Nina. They have been friends with John for years. It was good to share stories from the past and to hear of present happenings and future plans. Zac is in college – his second year – and hopes to study psychiatry. I can almost see John’s smile and feel his pride – John followed Zac’s life as a loving grandfather would.
We had a simple supper at an Asian restaurant near our hotel – delicious noodle soup. My fortune: Connect with good friends at a distance. Tell…
On August 21st, we will embark on a cross- country trip as a tribute to the memory of Loretta's brother John and his deep love for Mother Earth. In the next weeks, we will share more about John and we invite you to both join us on a journey of tribute to him and to reflect on your own journey.
Loretta writes: "I learned about “tribute making” in 2000 while participating in a twelve-week grief recovery program, The Phoenix Project, led by Dr. Jack Miller. Tribute making involves an outer expression of an inner truth that one has grown to understand through an honest and loving grief process.
Tributes can be a simple as writing a poem, as complicated as digging a new well, and as creative as producing a book or collage that captures the loved one’s life story. It all depends on who is creating the tribute and who is being remembered. Creating and embarking on this trip as our tribute has unfolded as a powerful healing experience for both of us.
May 3-4, 2013 at Rockhaven Ecozoic Center in House Springs, MO.
http://www.planetarybrilliance.com Tending the Soul’s Garden:
How to Thrive and Prosper While Changing the World.
Where do you begin when you care about everything? In this working session, learn how you can both sustain your energies as a changemaker and create greater impact as you engage in the Great Work of renewing and transforming our world.
The most critical mindset shift you MUST have to succeed as a changemaker; How to choose leveraged projects with the greatest potential to shift entire systems; How to dramatically increase your impact, leverage and reach; How to thrive as a changemaker, even in hostile ecosystems; How to manifest the New Story with grounded and engaged spirituality;
We begin by nurturing the soil: the soil of the soul and in the various gardens we tend in our lives. Soil is where life begins: and the cycle of life continues. Infused with spirit, the archetypal soil of mot…