Saturday, August 30, 2008

Belonging to Earth: Finding Our Place In Nature

Pointing the way on the path of the wild...
For more photos of our group click here: Belonging to Earth
To view photos that Ann took click here: Ann's Photos
To view photos that Fred took click here: Fred's Photos
Here is a youtube video Steve W posted: Big Sur Water Sprites
Carol sent this link to photos & slideshow: Carol's Photos
Here is a link to: Leroy's Photos
In every moment of our lives we are supported by natural systems both seen and unseen. Yet, in our culture, many of us are cut off from the natural world. We have little contact with wild nature, little idea of where we live, and little notion of what directly sustains our daily life. Esalen, surrounded and sustained by wild natural systems, is an ideal place to learn more about our sense of place, of nature, and of belonging to this earth.
This week was personally powerful for me. To be able to share in more depth the place I care for so deeply with all of you that showed up so fully is special. Coming together to understand our belonging to earth we found belonging in self and community as well. Our journey into the burned area is still vivid in my body and mind. The smell of burnt plants and soil, the color and texture of the abundant charcoal skeletons, the green sprouts emerging everywhere, all live with me. Spending my birthday deep in Big Creek in the waters on a sunny clear day is a present I will remember.

May each of you journey well in you "other" lives and worlds. And as David Whyte encourages us, "What urgency calls you to your one love? What shape waits in the seed of you to grow and spread its branches against a future sky?"


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Simply Wild

Simply Wild at Julia Pfeiffer-Burns State Park
For more photos of the group click here: Simply Wild

Every year
I have ever learned
in my lifetime
leads back to this:
the fires and the black river of loss
whose other side is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.

To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:

To love what is mortal;
to hold it against your bones
knowing your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

from part of Mary Oliver's "In Black Water Woods"
How wonder to be back in the wilds of Big Sur with a group... and in places that did not burn. How deeply I appreciated the aliveness of these mountains and sea, and of our time together. Thanks to each one of you for a wonderful weekend!

P.S. I read the Mary Oliver Poems, The Summer Day, In Blackwater Woods, and Sleeping in the Forest. All of these poem can be found in her book New and Selected Works: Volume One which won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award.