Grief, Integration, Resolve

Two of hundreds of warning signs we saw along our route.

I am now back in Ojai, to attend to school and family and life, with a plan to rejoin the Compassionate Earth Walk in South Dakota in September. I noticed that it was only when I returned home and began to try to integrate the experience that the real grief of what I witnessed began to be felt. Floating in our swimming pool, I wept for the people of the Athabasca watershed whose waters are poisoned. I wept for the land scarred and ridden with the network of subterranean, insidious oil pipelines. I wept for the community of all life at risk in the face of climate change. I felt the sorrow of my own complicity and hypocrisy as I return to a life of relative luxury, consumption and comfort. Integration has not been easy as I have tried to hold onto the deep connection I felt with the earth while walking, meditating, sleeping, bathing and eating outside for two weeks. The veil between worlds felt very thin for the first days back and is slowly thickening as I jump into the details of everyday life. I purposely did not step back through the threshold circle as I left the walk, with the intention to hold this time as sacred until I join them again. I trust this was the right decision though I do feel a bit disoriented and in two worlds.

On my way to the Edmonton airport I passed this circle in a field. I hold it in my heart as a symbol of the circle of life that weaves through all things keeping us interconnected through space and time. I resolve to do my part on protecting and restoring this fragile web and I give gratitude to my ancestors, my Dad in particular, my family, and my community for making this journey possible. May it continue!

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