Tag Archives: Action

Spiritual Tribe: Water Lovers

forest and lake

Black Bass Lake hides down a steep gravel road, off the beaten tourist track.  Just a few minute “detour” off my usual route home.   The walking paths are well tended and generally easy to navigate, leaving the heart and mind free to wander (except for the usual need to keep up the watch for venomous snakes).

snake note This warning note was left on the entrance picnic table  

Some days the lake sparkles with such intensity and welcoming joy that all that can be contemplated is the water’s beauty and biological imperative.  Not to mention its literal and symbolic linking with Love  – flowing, essential, powerful, quenching, sustaining, sometime seemingly in short supply, unifying, worth sharing and preserving .  sun black bass lakeBlack Bass Lake once served as the primary source of drinking water for the City of Eureka Springs.  Current signage, even at its flowing springs, warns against drinking the water.  I pondered these juxtaposed realities, as I circled the Lake one recent brilliant afternoon, and recalled many of the people and groups I’ve been reading about who are intent on defending  deep aquifers and surface waters.   These Water Lovers are a diverse group, spread out in geography, differentiated by language, and circumstance, but united in their overarching wisdom and commitment to preserving this vital Natural element.

Have you participated in actions to defend waterways near you?   I would love to hear your story.

Your might appreciate this  article highlighting the wisdom and efforts of the women of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Band in North Dakota, who chose and fought for clean drinking water over the supposed financial benefits of fracking.    And won.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Response: Homegrown Headlines

black bass lakeThis morning, April 23rd, the day after the official Earth Day I unfurled the Arkansas Democrat Gazette to images of the Paris Agreement signing.   (Yes, I work in a technology store, but we still get an old fashioned newspaper for our customers to read while waiting. LOL).

While the Paris accord carries its own significance, what ignites my faith in human beings is creative local responses to the urgent need for more Earth loving.

My Facebook newsfeed overflows with both stark climate news and courageous homegrown, grassroots reactions to ecological threats.   I’ve considered keeping a list of these Heart-Full efforts, as a testament to the human spirit.  So far I’ve settled for remembering this expanding web of Earth-caring in my daily prayers and meditation.

This Earth Day week here in Eureka Springs, as the last of the Ozark redbud blossoms were fading, I was fortunate to encounter in person quite a few folks  who are passionately pursuing an array of climate conscious activities — everything from bee keeping, to free solar power consultations, to lobbying for energy policy changes, to planting native flowers, to organizing a community discussion of Pope Francis’ encyclical.

What about your Earth Day experiences?   What invited your attention, action or appreciation?

Of course, many Earth-honoring moments escape the headlines; being principled decisions initiated in the privacy of the Heart or the home or being actions undertaken in the unnoticed vicissitudes of everyday life or off the interest list of major media outlets.

Publicized or not, each Earth-caring  response matters.  Each in a sense, is its own actualized  “Agreement”.  A vibrant pact between Earth and the Human Heart.  A covenant so intrinsic to our human Being, that when remembered, it eliminates all need to remind ourselves that every day is to be lived as Earth Day.

 

 

 

Heart: When Zinnias Takeover the World

 

zinniasMy Dad dug a zinnia patch next to his robust vegetable garden a few years before he died.  He created this butterfly-magnetizing oasis for my Mother, his beloved wife. Shade had overtaken her lakeside zinnia circle, and, knowing how she appreciated the intrepidly cheerful flowers, he took action.  A small kindness.  Motivated by appreciation.  Caring. Love.

I remember this simple act, when brazen cruelty takes the global stage. Or reveals itself in a heartbreaking snippet exposing suffering intentionally inflicted in some oft forgotten far away place.  Or even close to home.

I remember in honor of the Human Heart.   And to hold myself steady.

When I began planting zinnias in my own garden — more and more each year, a young friend joked about zinnias taking over the world.

What do you think? A takeover of kindness.  Caring.  Love.   A powerful spreading of the Heart.   A counterweight to cruelty.  A companion plant to unshakable resolve and courage.  One seed.  One act.  One Motive-filled moment after another.  And another.   

Spiritual Tribe: Be Moved by the Naked Truth of our Togetherness

Belladonna and ButterflyAmidst summer’s challenging heat, when nearly all other flowers have faded, the Belladonna Lilies (a.k.a. Naked Ladies) burst forth in gardens throughout the Ozarks. Their soft pink flowers entice butterflies, and rivet the human eye, proclaiming: “yes, beauty lives!”

But it is perhaps the plant’s leafless stalks that send the loudest message, boldly reminding that flourishing depends on and rises on simple, Heart-rooted truths.

Is there any more essential, urgent Truth today than the Truth of our Togetherness on Earth?   And the corresponding Fact of our Intimate Relationship with our Planet’s Biology?

Pope Francis gave voice and shape to these practical Heart Realities in his encyclical this week. And locally many friends sang their praises in concert with the Blue Moon in Aquarius. But it was when kneeling on the Earth, quietly weeding around the Naked Ladies that I felt and heard these compelling Truths most profoundly and was moved to re-commit to local and personal efforts to stand up for the Earth and live more lightly.

While it may be ridiculously naïve to believe in a salvaging, worldwide awaking to the Naked Truth of our Inter-Connection (although I do like to visualize this), I am already convinced of the dynamic, motivating power of the Togetherness Truth, individually realized via whatever Heart-Sourcing, Earth-Touching experience or Lighted Path.  Thus, in the heated midst of melting glaciers, record forest fires, and super storms, I have faith that the flowers of Togetherness: the Will to Protect, the Love to Care and Wisdom to Act will flourish and bloom  . . . spreading here and there, more and more  . . . perhaps enough for us to eventually proclaim “yes, Earth and the Human Heart live!”   It depends on us, Together.

Response: Being Emotionally Real About Climate Change

dead growthI came across an intelligently compassionate article this week called The Great Grief: How to Cope with Losing Our World.  I read the first paragraph with theoretical interest, but was quickly drawn into author Per Espen Stoknes’ acknowledgment of the psychological toll exacted by living amidst climate chaos and ecological destruction.

My greatest take away from the article was the invitation to consciously grieve the losses wrought by the accelerating changes engulfing Earth. An invitation to be emotionally real both as a practice and gateway to emotional health in these extraordinarily challenging times.   Have you done this?

There’s so much to face.   Death. The destruction of cherished places and potentially our entire home.   The ongoing contradiction between our collective desire for ecological sustainability and our insatiable appetite for consumer goods and expanding GDP.  Immediate worry for the poor and displaced. Powerlessness. Despair.  As well as the Heart’s inherent desire to serve and be joyful.

If I’ve learned one thing this past year it’s that offering oneself the hard but healthy gift of sitting with and giving voice to one’s losses is an act of Heart. Winding through the pain precipitates changes, perhaps paradoxically. Pooled tears can give birth to resilience, clarity, and transformative strength and can resurrect an Inner Lightness – a Lightness of Self-Knowledge and Faith in Oneself.

These are significant Heart gains. Gains gifted by grief.   Gains amidst destruction. Gains that we can count on in responding to our planetary crisis precisely because they reside neither in technology nor politics nor economies but rather in ourselves.

Effort: Action’s Sweet Messiness

plate 5A stone’s throw from the turn into my narrow dirt driveway, a hand-painted sign announces the presence of Paradise Pottery with the following down-to-earth description:  Real Pots. For Real People.  Made in a Real Place.     https://www.facebook.com/paradisepottery.

When I first arrived at my new home with exactly one ceramic cup, a matching cookie plate, and a graceful soup bowl to fill my kitchen cupboards, I didn’t wait long to visit Jim Wallace, the Paradise Pottery potter and proprietor, and his wife Shannon.  We sorted through bowls, compared nuances in glazes and studied variations in the spirals swirling through a collection of plates that had caught my eye.

No two pieces appeared exactly the same.  As I held up two paired but not identical mugs, it did not escape me that I was touching art crafted with perfect imperfection by human hands through a messy, wet, fiery process, and that I was doing so less then 45 miles from WalMart headquarters, a standardized world away in Bentonville, Arkansas.  How refreshing that was!  Almost rebellious.

Sometimes I find that our increasingly virtual, ideological, mistake-phobic, homogenized culture squeezes authentic action and its creative chaos to the fringes. Yet, the willingness and daring to physically act in accordance with the Heart’s aims is what births dreams and materializes our inherent gifts and passion-fueled inspirations.

This month I’ve been gathering courage and clarity to act on three heart-appealing invitations, which have come my way. One is a local community project called the Heart of Many Ways; another is joining with my business partners to transfigure our technology services and delivery.   Today I stand on the edge of action, a relatively safe and tidy place. Come March 2nd, I’ll be in the thick of it . . . in the thick of testing and stretching my creative and relational capacity. In the sweet messiness of exposing my skill gaps, finding solutions with others, and creating new products and authentic experiences that will hopefully benefit real people, in real places.

What potential actions are on your Heart’s plate?