June 29, 2017
Come August I will be celebrating the 2 year anniversary of my first experiences at Windward. I recall wandering through the forest to explore after sundown and finding myself at the Dome for the first time, being compelled to dance between the light of a bright moon and the gentle oak shadow.
I met this land as it began welcoming Fall and slowly saying goodbye to Summer. I was greeted by the sounds of the woods… coyotes howling to the night... leaves rustling when a squirrel or lizard scurries by... a delight of birdsong filling the air. Roosters evoke clucks from fertile hens with their crowing... grunts from the pigs who nap in their favorite mud pit… power tools squeal with excitement at being used to express tangible manifestations of love..
Hearing these sounds nearly every day has not lessened their potency nor how much I enjoy them. No, in fact my appreciation for these small moments and observations in community has grown over my many months at Windward.
Here I have learned that life can be gentle and life can be dark, and that through these times I will come out with deeper faith and greater understanding. I have learned that I will break. And I will heal. I will love and be loved; laugh and cry; stand strong and falter at times. I may be heartbroken and I may do the heartbreaking. And through all of this, I will be OK. I will put myself back together with the help of my friends and family, the trees and the birds, my community who is always there - humans, animals, plants, and celestial balls of gas and stone who calm me as I remember to breathe deeply and connect with what is real: this body, this planet, these feelings.
As I come out of my second Surrender, I feel reflective and connected. Connected to this land that teaches me and holds me. Reflective of the past I have with this place and this community. And I feel an anticipation of what is to come. I look forward with bright eyes and an open heart, excited to meet the challenges and the rewards which I know I will reach.
I spoke vows on Sunday as the culmination of my Earth Marriage path at the Ecosex Convergence. Though the meaning is evolving and I still don't know everything marriage means to me, I do know that this marriage is not an exclusive one. It is probably the most inclusive act I have ever made. This Earth is everything that is upon her, and so I feel I am "marrying" each individual entity as I marry the whole.
Of course, the truth is that I have been married to the Earth since the moment I was conceived. One definition of marriage is "cause to meet or fit together." Some synonyms are: join, unite, combine, fuse, merge, amalgamate, connect, couple, knit, yoke. I have been united with the Earth for as long as time itself. I am fused with Earth for all of eternity.
This pathwork gave me the opportunity to reflect on what this concept of marriage means to me. I came to a place of certainty: marriage is committed connection.
This ceremony on Sunday gave me a chance to express what this relationship means to me in public, witnessed by members of my community.I do not recall my vows in their entirety, as I just let the truth come out in my sunshine-soaked moment to speak. This is more or less what I have vowed to Earth. I started with a statement:
I've never wanted to get married - well, that's not true, but it feels true. I still don't know exactly what marriage means to me, but whatever it is, that's what I'm doing now.
I will laugh with you, cry with you, yell at you, and listen to you.
I will speak my truth with you and for you.
I will hug you and kiss you.
I will cherish and appreciate you.
I will dance and sing for you.
I will hold you and be held by you.
I will nourish you and be nourished by you.
I will grow for you and with you.
I will love you and be loved by you.
Of course, the true meaning here is not in the precise letters and syllables; Truth lies deeper, in the felt sense of the words as symbols for the real commitment I have to love this life profoundly every day.
This was a symbolic act, marrying the Earth and all of the Earth. But it was also important to my experience to be expressing this marriage with the Earth specifically on this land. I have been marrying myself to this land since I first connected with Lindsay and Walt and decided to begin the process of becoming an Apprentice. And since that spring when I met these two who are so deeply connected to this land, and now having lived here myself and become an Assistant Steward, I am far more united with this land in particular. I am grateful, oh so grateful for this, as I learn so much being in connection with this place, doing real things, creating true change in myself and in community. I see the benefits of this life, of this yoking myself with my land-base, my home. These jewels shine and show themselves to me more and more, and though it is not all easy, in fact some things are extremely difficult, I hold the belief that it is worth it and that marrying myself to this life-giving entity has immense value, for me, for this community, the land, and many others who fall within the broad reach and influence this connected individual may offer the world.
Click on the photo above or follow these links to see more photos from Windward events like the Ecosex Convergence on our Flickr.
Created with flickr slideshow.