This weekend a gathering was held in Camrose and we’d really like to share the generative energy that came from that evening with all of you who frequent this blog! Knowing that others are working in solidarity can be a source of great inspiration and hope. I especially wish to send this out to the Unceded Coast Salish territory.
We began our gathering at Rathnavalu’s with nearly 45 people maneuvering into an infinity loop through the house and around the bountiful table of pot luck goodies. For those of you who have not spent time considering the bureaucracy of the food safety system, having a pot luck is one of the revolutionary acts that we can all partake in! It’s a chance to bring to our plates foods made from so many loving hands. What a gift to share in the work of so many!
We got into the spirit of the land by sharing where our spirits have connected and grounded in spaces all around the world. Here’s the images that my hand could frantically capture…
oceans – beaver trails – headwaters – family farms – game trails – I hug trees – aspen woods – cathedral forest – beaver dams – creek – where I live – critters moving – silence of the coulee – you can hear the dinosaurs – donalda – kootney plains – summers with grandparents in forested land – where i can feel the wind – queeen charlotte islands – I like to look for dead trees – everywhere blew by frontier – my garden – stony creek – read by summer light – california coast – whales pouting while breastfeeding my son – mirror lake – the wind in the aspen leaves – ocean meets the rocks – salt in the air – secret beach – half moon silica sand – smelling cedar and sea air – moose lake – outside and walk – rolling hills – bow river – sunflowers and bears – it has changed but still feels like home – manage the earth – use the wind and the sun – skiing to the research station – mythic status – climbing trees – looking at sunsets – rollyview – chickens and fresh eggs – and lambs and goats – the stars – trail system – choke cherries – mountains – just every part of it…
“You don’t have to be great to do great things” said one of our readings. And this was a small gathering of great people. What is the blue dot movement? Check out this video:
We can affect the future. This much we know. Imagine if the sacred spaces that sustain our life and spirit were protected within the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This is the impetus behind the Blue Dot movement – to have our municipalities, provinces and our nation recognize it’s citizen’s RIGHT to live in a healthy environment with clean air, water, soil and food. Just like we have the right to vote.
As David Suzuki says, “things are only impossible until someone decides they’re not.”
To learn more about ecology and the Charter of Rights, we watched a presentation by David Boyd, one of Canada’s leading environmental lawyers and the author of several books on the subject. Please contact us if you’d like a link to his presentation.
A quick break-out session allowed us to ask each other why we were out on a cool February night. My own answer is community. There are crisis in the works, as always there were and ever there will be. They will always come to pass. The only way we will weather all the storms of life is with community to help one another. The community we are building around Spirit of the Land or Blue Dot or local economy or anything else of consequence, reminds us that there are others who are willing to help, to hold space and spirit, to bring ideas and food. If climate predictions come to pass, I want to know everyone in that room by name. I want to know anyone who is reading this post by name, so we can achieve together what we cannot do alone.
Community doesn’t happen with polarization. It happens with compassion and understanding, and as we sit in story with one another, we come to see that we all care for our world. We all love our children and grandchildren. We all want a future for our species. Some people have spent their life’s work in service of systems that we have now identified as problems for these hopes. This is devastating. I even feel bad when I slightly offend someone if I have acted or spoke without full knowledge. Imagine spending your entire life acting in a way that you never considered destructive. The guilt and shame that comes from changing our lives is not to be overlooked. Those who have done it are brave souls, but we must remember that those who have not are simply human. Change can be a very frightening thing indeed. We must move forward together, with hearts held in care. Our obstacles are the very place of beginning.
Just an idea…..
So here are a few of the ideas that did get captured in our gathering, but many were not. And if you have an idea, please send it along to spiritoftheland1 at gmail dot com (I wrote it this way to keep the spammers away!)
- Just as the women’s safety audit occured in Camrose recently, we could come up with an environmental audit that would involve all citizens in going around their neighbourhood. Count trees, check pollution sources, where’s the water? where’s the wildlife? This information could go to the city along with a petition for a declaration of the Blue Dot variety.
- Use Community Service-Learning students from Augustana to assist with above or with other initiatives
- Involve the Stoney Creek center
- Involve and synthesize the work of the many outdoor clubs in town, like the ski clubs, bird clubs, hiking clubs and other lovers of the natural world.
- Remember – grandparents will vote for the future of their children! Speak to kids about influencing their grandparents on how we use their future home.
- Celebrate achievements! Battle River Watershed Alliance and Centercam recycling did not exist a few short years ago. Build on what we have done and don’t forget our might!
A couple of articles were presented to look up. One was a Macleans article on the progress of human history.
The other was a series of interviews on CBC Ideas with Gwynne Dyer.
Finally, we went around the circle just blurting out thoughts. Again, if you have further thoughts post them in the comments below or email us!
hope and what is positive – focus – education – talk to a friend – conversation – example – everyone’s ideas count – networking – t-shirts, buttons – petition public – conversation from industry – pembina institute – relationship between the worst and best… we must be honest with the worst in order to reach the best… be unafraid of the worst because then we can have belief in the best capacity as human beings – pressure from the ground up – reach out and bring people to the next gathering – expand our capacity – offer hope to other…
And this is what I hope, dear friends both near and far. That this small gathering of great people in Camrose can offer you hope where you live. There are others out there who send you love, hope and solidarity for the work you do in the place you love.
Please use this space to share your work! This blog is followed by people in Camrose, Comox, Vancouver, Victoria, Terrace and who knows where else! Feed the network with hope and stories of your work. Together, who knows what we may be able to do.