ONE seeks to gather and connect people who are heeding an inner prompting to align our lives and our goals with the well being of the earth. Our first public event turned out to be just such a gathering, giving encouragement and inspiration to all who participated. At Celandine Farm in Boylston, MA, our hosts Chris Berg and Cynthia Werth greeted us at their fire-circle. Chris explained the importance of the sacred fire as a continuity of a long tradition; honoring fire as an elder, friend and guide. Pam Montgomery, from whose vision ONE has sprung, led us in a ceremony of greeting the spirit forces of the 7 directions; we could feel their benevolent energies coming to join us, strengthening our intention to work together. We then, as a united group, stepped into experiencing first- hand some of the facets of ONE’s action in the world:
- From Chris and Mark Carlin we learned some practicalities of Earth Stewardship: how to make our human imprint more gentle and harmonious with the processes of nature—in this case by building and operating a simple composting toilet system. Mark shared that he had dreamed of finding himself in a situation in which many systems of the industrial world had broken down, but in this dream he still felt confident he could take care of life’s necessities. This workshop showed us one of the ways!
- Next Pam guided the group in a miniature sample of ONE’s educational facet. From her vast reserve of knowledge of the plants and their multiple healing powers, she introduced us to a few which were growing right around our feet. Pam teaches internationally about how to communicate with the plants and how to receive their healing gifts. ONE hopes to connect many teachers and healers who honor spirit in nature and are willing, like Pam, to share their knowledge, passion, and expertise.
- Chris and Cynthia then took the group on a heart-felt and inspirational tour of Celandine Farm. They have dedicated themselves to serving and honoring the earth and are living an example of sustainable livelihood on their small suburban farm. On their 2 plus acres they grow vegetables, raise livestock, keep bees, compost, and run Green Heart Healing Center. Today they shared their sense that a certain area of their land was suffering, perhaps from some former abuse. Together our group joined in a ceremony for earth healing for this place. ONE regularly invites us participation in earth-healing ritual through its new moon and full moon Gratitude Circles and encourages people to come together for ceremonies like this one.
- During the whole morning time, children were participating in the event in their own way—joining in ceremony, making art, planting seeds, and going on a scavenger-hunt-turned-upside-down: instead of collecting items from nature, they sought them out to offer them little gifts.
- After sharing a home-cooked feast, we all gathered for the Council of All Beings. We followed a (very abbreviated) model of the (often 3-day) ritual designed by deep- ecologists Joanna Macy and John Seed. The purpose is to commune with specific nature beings—like animals, plants, landscapes, weather--and to speak on their behalf. After a meditation to connect with a nature ally, each person crafted a mask to represent that element of nature. Then we gathered in council and each masked person spoke from the point of view of their ally. Wind and wild water spoke, airing grievances and giving advice, as well as mycelia and frog, crow and deer. As words flowed around the circle, we all were drawn deeper into understanding of our fellow beings. Each had things to say about the suffering caused by humans, but each had advice for the humans as well, and gifts of hope and wisdom. The Council of All Beings, ceremonial in nature, incorporates earth-inspired creativity and it can be a springboard for activism on many levels. It is an apt example of the multi-faceted workings of ONE.
- We concluded with another gift from the green beings: in a practice based on the tradition of limpia--cleansing, we gently brushed each other with healing plants and offered words of blessing.
Several people left with prized raffle winnings—like wild-crafted morel mushrooms, coupons for healing sessions and original art, and all of us with inspiration and the sense of connection with kindred travelers.