Wilderness Rites Earth Exchange (logging)


Submitted by Anne Stine, Ashland, Oregon: Logging

Nine very enthusiastic women came together in the small town of Lincoln, Oregon early Saturday morning , June 20, and met with Dave Willis, the head of Soda Mountain Wilderness and the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument. Dave gave us a wonderful detailed talk on all that has gone on and is going on in our beautiful local public lands as well as the place he had chosen for us to be together for Radical Joy.

The place we went was a private logging inholding in the Monument, and which has been devastated by grazing, logging, big fire last year and finally salvaging. When we arrived we spent the first few minutes, in silence, just taking in without words, our experience of the land, life forms, energy, etc.  There was also a remarkable and rare addition to this wounded place, and that was a pristine spring coming out of the side of a hill within the devastation itself. The spring becomes a creek called Spring Creek and is slated to be designated as a ‘scenic creek’ under the wild and scenic act, which will give it protection.

We came together for a brief sharing of our initial feelings/impressions which ranged from grief to wonder. Then we drummed on the big mother drum we had brought, and sent her voice out into the land and beyond to join with all the other wounded places around the globe, receiving attention on the same day.

We then spent an hour in silent solitude on the land, following our instincts. Upon our return, we each shared our experiences of the wonder and beauty we found, springing (truly) up within the devastation: small trees, bushes, flowers, etc. the land slowly reclaiming itself. We also were deeply moved by the hope expressed by the pristine creek flowing through the middle of the black stumps and huge piles of slash. The wild flowers were abundant in and around the waters which ran downhill and sang a joyous song over rocks.

We gathered again around the great mother drum and sent our voices, her voice, out to our world, the vibration of the deep beat resounding throughout the burned stumps, the spring creek, and everywhere else….

Perhaps the most surprising experience for us all was to notice a huge dragonfly, probably called a sanddragon, in a sidepool of the creek, literally jumping vertically in and out of the water, up and down, up and down. We watched in wonder for about 15 minutes, and speculated on this, sensing that we were having a peek into something very rare and private happening in nature. We decided that she was planting eggs, as we could see small white specs disappearing into the water. But most of all we decided that she was jumping for ‘joy’, that she was also celebrating Radical Joy, in the middle of the spring of hope within the huge wounded place.

We were all very inspired and felt that one of the many gifts of this place was the teaching that Mother earth gave to us that no matter what happens, She/we will continue on, without skipping a beat. We will never let any thought of giving up, or ‘what’s the use’, etc. to take hold. For as we looked around at what had happened here and saw the powerful regeneration that was taking place we knew that no matter what, we will keep going.

We so enjoyed this, some of us have been together now for 6 years and are looking forward to continuing this celebration of wounds, hope, wonder, and so much more….

Anne Stine