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A Publication by Wild Earth Spiritual Community

Spring 2023

Editor's Note 

Dearest reader,

As the days grow longer and the weather warms up, we here at Wild Earth are relishing in the flowers, birds, insects and general flourishing of life that comes with spring. And we continue to explore our creativity and express our love of nature through music, art, poetry, prose and photography.

As the group transitions into participant-centered leadership, this magazine mirrors the transformation we are going through. What this means is that anyone in the group can choose to facilitate a gathering, and everyone is expected to hold the space and contribute in their own way to the gathering (even if that means sacred silence).

This issue, like the last, could only come together with members contributing their unique gifts to the group. And as we continue to grow in our decentralized leadership, it is my hope that members feel inspired to contribute their talents and find their niche within the transformation occuring.

From a musical composition, to poetry honoring the divine in nature, to an interview with a community herbalist, I hope the contributions in this issue intrigue and nourish your soul.

With so much gratitude and love,

Alison Shapiro

Wild Earth

We seek to live in deeper relationship with Earth, Divine Presence and each other. We gather twice monthly in sacred, natural woodlands in the Metro DC area. We are a diverse, inclusive and inter-spiritual community. Our gatherings combine contemplative spiritual practices with songs and chants, drumming, silent wandering and fellowship. Our practices enhance and grow our commitment to Earth and Her Beings, informing the work we do individually and collectively in the outer world. If you would like to support this community and the continuation of our work, please consider donating here.

Embrace Your Bark

By Kenzie Raulin

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That Summer Night

That Summer NightJonathan Nowick
00:00 / 02:40

By Jonathan Nowick

Letter to My Church

By Sarah Anders

Dear Church,

 

I’m leaving you.

 

I’m trading the organ and hymns for eastern bluebird’s call. She directs me to This, Here.

My head swings to meet her trill; she steals my heart every time.

 

I’m swapping the reading of scripture for the whippoorwill’s incessant midnight call.

 

I’m quitting the choir’s anthem for the rustle of creatures in the bush and the barely heard rain on fallen leaves.

 

The minister’s words I’m replacing with silence.   

 

Rather than wondering, “Why is the liturgist especially disgruntled today?” I am consumed with a wonder that sparks further investigation: “Who are you, tiny burnt brown millipede?”

 

Freckled tiger lily, messy ground cover, and pock-marked rosebush are my altars; they beam and shout, “Behold! I am doing a new thing!”

 

Instead of sitting stiffly in a pew,

 

I.Am.

 

moving with frigid air, mixing with warming sun, shifting and slanting when tall, old, bull pine’s scraggly trunk l-e-a-n-s over widespread young ‘uns seizing the field’s clearing.

 

I.Am.Here.

 

l-e-a-n-i-n-g, too, protecting.pulsing.with.blood.river.whipped-tail.amphibian.pads.watery-eyed.hot.skin.

 

Here, where wing-beating crickets lessen my loneliness more than chatter at coffee hour.

 

Here, where leaves crackling under footsteps unearth stunted confessions.

This work requires breaking down for transformation.

 

Rather than believing that Jesus saves, might we be saved by the mist shapeshifting through the valley below?

 

Rather than passing the offering plate, might we pass the ancient fragrance of pinecone?  Baptize in this dangling waterdrop shimmering on mayapple?

 

Big-rooted beings, air-swimming winged ones, scampering four-leggeds, saxiphage and wineberry, I’m leaving church for you.

 

Choose storm, snake, and spider.

Choose Great Spirit’s Sanctuary

where benedictions never stop,

where Breathing, where

Opening

is

 

Here, Here,

and Here,

 

vivifying, emanating, electrifying

 

This, This,

and This.

 

All

burning bush.

Sweetly Divine

By Anita Garcia 

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Branching Out 

By Anita Garcia 

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The Great Conversation

I yearn to continue a conversation

which I did not know existed,

thinking that conversation was only among humans.

Now I realize there are many more voices,

with many more languages.

 

I like to think I know a few phrases in Oak,

a word or two maybe in Maple,

but Pine and Spruce and Juniper and Arborvitae,

Beech and Dogwood and Apple and Pear

are far beyond my comprehension.

 

And that’s only tree talk.

 

What about Squirrel, Rabbit, Wolf and Deer,

Starling, Finch, Crow, and Goose,

Ant, Bee, Snake and Butterfly,

Protozoa, Mycorrhizae, Fungi and Lizard,

Trout, Pike, Chub, and Whitefish,

Striped Bass, King Salmon, Bluefish, Halibut

Whale, Shark, Porpoise and Dolphin,

Forsythia, Barberry, Euonymus, and Lilac?

 

And what about Air, Wind, Sun

Fire, Desert, Moon and Star,

Water, River, Ocean and Island

Earth, Canyon, Mountain and Cave?

 

Humans are latecomers to this confab

which has been going on for eons

and I have not so much to teach as to learn.

So now I must listen, to begin to perceive

the signals of sound, touch, taste and sight.

 

Magnus, magnificent White Oak

at our former home, began my lessons,

and now Elijah, tall Norway Spruce

in front of our new home, has invited me

to sit at his base and listen, hug, touch

and simply gaze to receive his gifts.

Thank you both for inviting me

to share in the adventure.

 

By Robin Hawley Gorsline 

Interview with Tatiana Eaves

Rose Cathedral Window

By Joan Davidson

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from the roots

published when birthed.

Editor-in-Chief

Alison Shapiro

Cover Image

The masthead image behind the words “from the roots” is a photograph of the roots of a fallen Sequoia tree in the Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park. The fallen tree was over 1,000 years old. Photo by Kenzie Raulin.

Wild Earth Spiritual Community

We strive for participant-centered leadership.

WILD GUIDES

Kenzie Raulin, Alison Shapiro, Amy Moffitt, Laurie Wevers, Jim Hall, Hank Langknecht

Gather via zoom or in person every three months to plan next three months.

ADVISORS

Wild Guides plus Ginge Sivigny, Jon Nowick, Pauline Siple, Ray Martin, Jane Pittman

Once/year gathering for review of WE including finances

 

VISION KEEPERS

Hank Langknecht, Jim Hall, Sarah Anders

Monthly review and thoughts on gatherings and themes

 

APPRENTICE

Alison Shapiro

 

NATURE GUIDE

Marney Bruce

 

Review all after one year.

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