The weather today was sunny and 82 degrees, but because of breezes and low humidity, it did not feel hot.
The cottage in western North Carolina ~
Trillium photo I took today in the Pisgah Forest ~
Today as I hiked the forest trail, the only sound was birdsong and the rush of water in small falls and rivulets down the mountainside. The new green of Spring glowed in the treetops, and tiny yellow, purple, and white blossoms opened in cracks and crevices, by stumps and rocks.
Huge old-growth trees towered overhead.
I sensed that inner expansiveness that arrives when I am reminded of my place as part of a wider, wilder world.
My friend Marian Van Eyk McCain has edited a new book, GreenSpirit: Path to a New Consciousness. Because the topics in it are related to my work on Temple of the Cosmos and my interest in our spiritual responses to our world, I intend to read it as soon as I can get my hands on a copy. Marian also wrote The Lilypad List: 7 Steps to the Simple Life.
8/17/10 News Flash! Marian Van Eyk McCain, editor of and contributor to GreenSpirit: Path to a New Consciousness, will be in Chatham, NY on Sunday, September 12. 2010, 2 PM to speak about the book and about living simply. The Real Food Network Co-op, 15 Church Street, Chatham, NY. This event is sponsored by Sanctuary Without Walls.
We should not be seeking the Garden, it is not lost. It is we who are lost. It is we who are alienated from the Garden of which we are a part, which is around us and within us now, and always has been.
So says Billy, one of the many Green Men present at the Convention I am attending this weekend. I apologize that his photo, above, is not more clear; the light was low.
Brian Froud said that a first step in reconnecting with the spirit of nature is to acknowledge that it is possible. Before “taking things” from nature, we should seek permission. Communication, he said, is possible and necessary, and there are no “rules” about how to do it; it is individual and intuitive process.
At the end of the Green Man Panel, Brian was made an honorary member of the Blessed Order of the Greenman (BOG).
Blessed Order of the Greenman induction ceremony
Other members on the Green Man panel included Celtic scholar John Matthews, folklorist Steve Winick, artists Wendy and Brian Froud, and BOG founder Shane Odom.
So far (it’s not over yet) attending this event has been a colorful, inspiring, and thought-provoking experience. There have been many other workshops, gatherings, and events here. More posts will follow as time allows – it’s a busy time!
On this white and snowy day, I’m sharing a springtime photo, plus a link I just added to this blog.
The people of GreenSpirit:
* celebrate all existence as deeply connected and sacred
* understand humanity as integral to the planetary landscape rather than its distinguishing feature
* find inspiration in the traditions of Earth-based peoples and Celtic spirituality
* are exploring the unfolding story of the Universe and promote common ground between people in the context of this vision
* seek to redress the balance of masculine and feminine and befriend darkness as well as light
* create ceremonies and celebrations which connect us more consciously with the cycle and seasons of the Earth
* seek a more just, sustainable and peaceful way of life in harmony with the Earth
The statements above (in italics) are from the GreenSpirit website. I learned about this organization from my friend Marian, an active GreenSpirit member. This group in Great Britain is based on the Creation Spirituality movement. To learn more about Creation Spirituality, visit the CS website.
Meanwhile, closer to home, through Sanctuary Without Walls I am looking forward to hosting gatherings where we can explore how our place as part of the natural world and our earthly and cosmic story can offer us inspiration, healing, a sense of peace and balance, a profound feeling of belonging, and more. Posts about this and other events will appear as plans develop.
Ten of us gathered on a frigid night, 9º F, with a wind chill many degrees below zero.
Clouds were racing across the sky, hiding and then revealing the big, silver moon.
Full Moon Snow Labyrinth
We were bundled up, thus able to take the time we needed for this snow labyrinth experience. Candles in lanterns made of ice cast a warm glow across the snow, as we followed the winding path.
Labyrinth Ice Lanterns
At the center, we each paused to look at the moon and reflect on the journey.
At the Center of the Labyrinth
Right after we left the labyrinth, a coyote howled in the woods nearby.
That set us to howling, too!