One night sitting out on my land I was visited by the Earth Keeper. I was sad and in great fear of losing my way. I was in fear for the future of my commitments to share nature through Headwaters Outdoor School.
This year, 2020, has been brutal for our Earth, and all that lives upon her. I’ve always worked for the greater good, and my school has been my greatest achievement in my life as an Earth Caretaker and as a teacher. This year has forced us all to take a time out.
I miss the students and the deep relationships I have with my apprentices. I miss the sweat lodges, that magic and that deep Earth connection that they bring. I miss our wonderful meals shared together, cooked with love by Julie and her kitchen crew. I miss waking up every morning with such single-minded purpose to share my love of our Earth with my students, and to infect them with the same passion. It’s truly an honor and a gift to be a teacher and mentor.
I’ve been so lucky to do what I do, always surrounded by wonderful students and staff. I am so grateful for this sacred land I am able to live and work on with the abundance of life within it.
That night I was sitting out, I was fearful of the future. I feared the loss of our school and my use as a teacher. I was afraid that I wouldn’t find that sweet spot inside of me that moves me to be the best person I can be. I was afraid of losing my creative edge and desire to start our school up again when it is safe to do so.
Tears came and the Earth Keeper appeared in the trees, and animals arrived as my witnesses. They held me while I cried for our school, for our community and for the Earth. The Earth listened to me as I spoke of my fears. I spoke of global warming and the defining moment it’s brought to humans. I feel this Earth shattering moment as a vital time to act to rectify our destruction or it will be too late.
I cried for all the species of animals and plants dying right now due to humans. I feel the hurt from the West Coast fires, the Australian fires and the continued burning Amazon, the melting arctic, the dying coral reefs, the global famines, the Covid-19 virus and the world wide suffering.
I’ve always felt that empathy is a gift, to be able to feel what other beings feel. That night the feelings were too much for me to carry. Help arrived in a Screech owl, which landed on a willow above me and began calling out. I quieted myself to listen. My sadness and fear turned to wonder and appreciation and connection to our Earth. Hope began to grow within me, and inspiration and ideas.
That warrior in me that never gives up awoke again. A fire began to burn in me, it felt so good. My true self began to take over again, ideas and solutions began to stir. As I looked up at the owl my eyes were drawn to the stars and the Pleiades star system, a place that always gives life to the dreamer in me.
The night became beauty and wonder, and my troubles drifted away. The Earth Keeper let me know that now, this time in history, September 2020, is the time of all time. This is the defining moment for humans and our relationship with our Earth going forward. This is the right time. This is the time when the right people will show up and carry all beings into a beautiful future.
Work is needed to navigate the darkness to reach the light. In a way it’s the death of old ways that don’t work, and finding the path into a future where our Earth and all living beings are honored and allowed to live in a good way for all life. The right people will show up and lead the way. The Earth Caretaking way.
The Earth Keeper said something so simple and so powerful. He said, “Be the shining light of a star in the darkness. Never stop that light from shining. Never. It’s who we humans are when we are at our best, coming from love and kindness. Never give up, fight the good fight. The Earth Caretaker way for our Earth.”
The owl flew off and the night went quiet. In that moment I knew that there is no higher purpose to living life than caring for our Earth. It’s who I am. It’s who we are. So, join me in this epic moment in history. Let’s let the light of the stars show us the way through all the chaos and darkness and uncertainty.
As we go through this, we emerge into a healthy Earth cared for by humans. A truly wonderful place to be. A place where all life is honored and flourishes. We must commit to caring for the Earth daily, and stay focused, and continue to learn. We must take action. Things may get much darker for a while, but look for that light, no matter how small it seems and follow it. It is your guide to get through these times. It will illuminate your path.
I believe this is our time. It is our time to take on this task. We are not here by accident at this time. We are all Earth Caretakers. We will go about achieving that in different ways, but this is our primary life purpose, to be of service. It is your Calling.
I love our Earth. I love our Headwater’s community. Thank you for making my dreams come true. Our land here is one of those shining stars. I will continue to care for the land and keep our school alive and well far into the future. It is my Calling and I will follow that Call. You have my word.