As I walk out the door, I begin to move and breathe differently. I slow down, notice my body, start noticing what’s around me.
I’m going on a wander, one of the main practices of eco-spirituality workshops I’ve attended and a core part of Wild Church.
I let my feet, not my head, guide me toward the entry I’ll take today into one of our forest paths. As I step in, I cross a threshold and consciously mark it. Sometimes, I say a few words about my intention; sometimes, I ask for guidance; often, I ask just to be present and receive what the living earth wants me to know.
Today, the sunlight is slanting through the forest at just the right angle to catch all the spider webs. I’ve never noticed them before. I see three different active webs with spiders in the middle and lots and lots of old webs in the branches of the cedar. The old ones are collecting things—twigs, moss, fronds, needles, bits and pieces… They look like little hammocks of support. I am surrounded by support and grandmother spiders weaving the world.
The synchronicity of this? Not only is support something I am opening more to these days, but I pulled the Spider Medicine Card this morning!
In my desire to feel like the earth being I am, I have been practicing, wandering, singing, reading, attending eco-spirituality workshops…one of the books I devoured in the last year was by Victoria Loorz called Church of the Wild. This book describes her path from traditional Christianity into Wild Church, a way of meeting in community to practice being and communing with creation, outside in all weather.
Others at QUUF, the UU fellowship I belong to, had also found this book and a small group of us met to explore how to bring a live experience of Wild Church to QUUF. Given that this practice feels vital for my soul right now and since I have been leading Winter Solstice rituals for 15 years and am ordained as an Interfaith Minister, it seemed like a good fit for me to get trained to guide. Our first Wild Church was in late February as the earth was turning more toward Spring here in the Northern Hemisphere.
Speaking of turning toward Spring, Spring Equinox is today, Monday, March 20th!
The earth teachings of Spring are about new beginnings, fresh energy, awakening from slumber, new growth. Think of the seed, dormant in the soil, surrounded by earth and other tiny beings, feeling the call to wake up, to use the compost surrounding it to put forth new life.
We’re seeing this all around us here in the Pacific Northwest. If it’s not visible where you live, know that the stirrings are happening under the ground. Life is arising again!
As humans, we can follow earth’s call to fresh awakeness, too. We can clean out, clear up any old, stale habits, energy, or belongings that keep us from awaking, from growing. We can simplify to make room for this new growth.
Of course, Wild Church is not new. It is an opportunity to relearn what native peoples everywhere practice:
Communion with earth
as our primary place of belonging.
If you’re in the Port Townsend area, please join us on 4th Saturdays (next one 3/25/23), and if you’re interested in finding a Wild Church near you, check out the growing list of gatherings.
The other fresh, new work in progress in my life is this new blogsite. I have downsized and simplified my online presence to reflect my simpler, downsized life. Even though I’m still cleaning up blogs that didn’t transfer over perfectly, I’m very happy with the change! You can still find calendar listings and practices, including my real-food recipes. I hope it will serve you as well as it’s serving me!
How will you welcome in the “leaping greenly spirits”*
of Spring into your life?
* From the e.e. cummings poem “i think you God for most this amazing”