Syringa vulgaris, Gerard, & Me by Kate Brunner

katebrunnerA vast array of massive issues are affecting the Land today. Rampant pesticide use, trademarked GMO seed, fracking, mining, illegal dumping, indigenous sovereignty, water rights, accelerating extinction rates, municipal waste management, clear cutting, increasingly extreme weather patterns, and on and on. Every one of them, big issues affecting our world. The arguments raging around these issues overwhelm & confuse me. (Why, for example, were some of my former Texas neighbors actually opposed to recycling?) Grappling with these questions, I sometimes find myself with an enraged mind, not to mention an aching heart, as I struggle to understand how we got here & why we aren’t doing more to address these and other grave environmental challenges that are, day-by-day, becoming increasingly necessary to confront.

Entire rivers run orange, mountains have their tops blown off, gaping holes in the seabed gush millions of gallons of crude into the world’s waters, acres of forest burn, & cities drown. We are entering the 6th mass extinction, but the first one we’ve played an active role in triggering. Two months ago, I listened to a top field ecologist cite statistics from NASA climatologists that predict at the current extinction rate, only 50% of all animal species will survive into the next century.

I wonder when humankind will remember that we ARE, in fact, one of those animal species. NASA just gave my great grandchildren a 1 in 2 shot of surviving the 21st century.

Living through my ordinary days with all of that kicking around in my head & heart can honestly be a challenge sometimes. It is my ecofeminism and my earth-rooted paganism that sees me through this crises of faith in my species.

Right now, I am just beginning to enter into sacred relationship with a new-to-me patch of Land. After nine years of dwelling in mostly subtropical climates in central Queensland & Gulf coast Texas, I recently relocated to southwest Colorado. I am getting reacquainted with a Land that moves through much more distinct seasonal changes than the Land of my most recent experiences. Instead of just summer and not-quite-summer, I moved in to a true spring for the first time in quite a while.

Settling into our new home over the last few months included a good bit of time in our new gardens; weeding, composting, mulching, learning about the community irrigation system, pruning, transplanting, and of course, identifying the assorted flora & fauna making appearances all around us. It turns out, this has been a heck of a year for lilacs & garter snakes. They’ve both made exceptional showings around here throughout this spring & early summer; fat, lush, numerous, & bringing their lessons into my life full force with the power of nature’s own magic. Continue reading “Syringa vulgaris, Gerard, & Me by Kate Brunner”

After the Body, the Land by Kate Brunner

Kate Brunner profile picAfter we learn to let our bodies tell our stories, after we embrace somatic spirituality, after we become one with these bodies that move us to action, that power the physical acts that manifest our spiritual work as feminists, what next? After the Body, what relationship must we strive to heal, embrace, and empower next?

Our relationship with the Land.

For years now, in conversations concerning environmentalism, my conservative father offered up the challenge, to “put my hippie money where my mouth is.” And slowly but surely, for all those years, I and my household have taken small steps to do just that. While the on-going dialogue with my father always takes place in the realm of policy, the underlying motivation for my commitment to sustainability-based living is spiritual and feminist. After all, my paganism is grounded in the earth. And as a Woman of the Earth, I believe in respecting and protecting Her sovereignty as an integral part of my feminist spiritual practice.

Last month, we took our biggest step to date and relocated to a co-housing community with a strong sustainability focus. I am grateful and excited to be taking even more steps towards a form of daily living that resonates so fully with my authentic self– body, mind, heart, & spirit. And yet, at the same time, I fully understand that such steps on such a scale are not necessarily within everyone’s reach. So, what is? Where can we start to engage living in right action with this earth we are all so connected to whether or not we choose to acknowledge it? Continue reading “After the Body, the Land by Kate Brunner”

No-Gift Birthday Parties by Grace Yia-Hei Kao

Continue reading “No-Gift Birthday Parties by Grace Yia-Hei Kao”

Why I Thrift (and How I Got Started) by Grace Yia-Hei Kao

“Thrifting fits the ‘reduce-reuse-recycle’ mantra so well…Thrifting may not be the most efficient way to shop, but I love how it encourages me to see the value in old things…”

Continue reading “Why I Thrift (and How I Got Started) by Grace Yia-Hei Kao”

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