I've begun corresponding with a like-minded woman who has founded a homeschooling community in Bellingham, Washington. She felt moved by my book Voices of the Earth, especially when I write about the Whatcom Creek explosion. She said about her work, " I am intuitively feeling like this organization is on the cutting edge of a new educational paradigm that will be embraced once the shift I am sensing on the horizon takes place." Then she asked if I felt the same shift coming.
I do feel such a paradigm change brewing. Not so much on the horizon, as it were, but more underground, like an earthquake gathering energy. Most people hunger for this change. Many are afraid of it. Some are so afraid, they resist it as if their lives depended on it. Which they do. Earthquakes, like birth and death and growing pains, can be scary. They change the lay of the land. They cause tsunamis (it occurs to me that labor contractions should be compared to tsunamis - a wave that rises, takes over completely, and then abates, bringing change). Or maybe a better metaphor would be a forest fire, raging through the brush of our psyches, leaving a smoldering land ready for new growth.
What would this change look like? My dream and hope is that all people would feel each other and the earth more deeply, and that our actions and decisions would come from that awareness. A simple idea, perhaps, but just imagine what would have to change. The center of how we live on earth would change. Education, politics, business, construction, transportation...... and it already is changing. Local community groups dedicated to setting up urban food, green transportation, and social justice initiatives can be found across the world. Think tanks, institutes, and non-profits also create global change, like the Institute for Social and Environmental Change. Small groups like my new friend's Free Range School are also a crucial part of the shift of global compassion.
What can you do to help this change? You and I are the doulas of global change, helping our species birth a new us. Look the change in the eyes and breathe deeply. Little actions can make a big difference:
- When you plant anything - carrots, lilacs, maples - say a prayer of thanks and blessing.
- When you reuse - cloth bags, cloth diapers, water bottles - recycle, or choose less, you are making a difference. Take a moment now and then to feel into the change on a bigger level. What do these actions mean to the soul of the earth?
- Teach children about ecology and caring for the land. Take them to streams and rivers and the ocean and the mountains. Pick up trash. Bring offerings to the natural spaces you visit - cornmeal, a bit of your own hair, or a sprinkling of herbs. Offer these gifts in thanks and blessing and teach children to do the same (just by doing, you teach them).
- Listen to your dreams. Pay attention to your hunches and intuitions. Feel how we are all connected. Feel how the trees and soil and air and sun all matters. You matter.
We are the blood of the earth, and the earth is in our blood. Aho, Ase, Amen.