Today Yusuf and I leave Seeds of Solidarity and go to the Leverett Pagoda.
We came to the farm Wednesday evening after leaving the “No More Fukushimas” Walk for Mother Earth. It was the perfect place to come and transition after a walk.
We came in time for Thursday’s SOL Garden which had a visit this week from Teatro V!da, an incredible theater group in Springfield MA directed by Magdalena Gomez.
Yesterday morning Yusuf worked with Ricky and Fritzy (who is back for a short time from Europe) on harvesting and bundling garlic, and in the late morning and afternoon we met with Teatro V!da visitors and SOL Gardeners.
Once everyone had left the farm Yusuf made a beautiful dinner for Deb, Rick, Levi, Fritzy, Angelo and me. We ate together and talked about following your passion as opposed to doing something just for money. It was a beautiful conversation, and everyone really made an effort to show clear support for the work we are doing.
Rick said, “I think the thing is we keep trying to fit you in some little box or put some title on it and we just can’t do it. You’ve just got to find a way to get the appreciation and support and continue doing this work.”
It was incredibly sweet. I feel like I’m finally coming to a point where people are realizing that there are alternative ways to live and maybe I’m not just completely reckless.
After dinner Yusuf and I showed everyone some of the pictures of the first week of the walk, and shared some stories.
While the slideshow was going I let them hear the track (they were thoroughly impressed) and finally I showed, “The Great Walk” and told a bit about the walk and the upcoming Walkatjurra Walkabout.
The night was good.
This morning Yusuf and I came in early to find Deb in the kitchen already working on a lunch to take with her to Amherst. She was taking Fritzy to Amherst almost immediately following breakfast, so we had to make something quickly. Yusuf made “Turkish French Toast” and Lydia and Jim joined us to break bread.
As we were eating, Rick said, “Well we all know what we’ve been doing on the farm. Tell us what’s new in the Lydia and Jim story.”
Lydia spoke a little bit about the work they’ve been doing on the house and her pottery, and Jim shared with us a bit about his work in the prison system.
For about 20 years he has been working to take ceremony into circles in the prison. To give a chance for spiritual growth in these people who have spent a long time behind bars.
It was really powerful to hear of the work he’s doing.
As we were talking, he said that he was suspended for a year, and that many people don’t talk to him because in prison anyone who is part of the circle (regardless of race or religion) is welcome to do sweat lodge and have other roles in ceremony. People are wary of the work he is doing, and sometimes think it is wrong that he allows non-natives to take part in ceremony.
He was saying
We have to respect the teachings of the land. In the dominant culture here, the main religions, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, they are from other lands.
If you go to Turkey, you will see monuments and sacred places that have been built up where you go to receive blessing or honor that land and that practice.
We need to be willing to re-connect with the land. As we do that, as we spend time outside in nature, working with the land, we will start to see a sort of change that happens in ourselves. We will become aware of how connected the earth and all of humanity is.
The creator gave this land to humanity. We have to be willing to work together.
I was really struck by these words, and have experienced this so strongly when walking. When you spend your entire day outside, breathing the fresh air, experiencing the small changes in the weather, watching and taking a part in the earth’s day — it is a different experience.
This society so often encourages isolation.
Sitting inside all day at a desk, in a closed door office. Sitting in a car, standing inside – there’s no time to just breathe and thank the world that you’re alive.
Well I thank the world I’m alive.
We are leaving the farm now to spend the day with Fritzy in Noho before she leaves and then visiting Jehann before staying at the dojo for several days.
I called both walk phones this morning and both were off. I’m not sure where everyone is now, but I hope the walk is together (with their luggage) and safe.
Na Mu Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo.