Last Saturday
several wise people
dedicated to practices
that help sustain life
on the planet,
gathered here
for the first Active Hope retreat.
Using the processes
that ecospirituality teacher
Joanna Macy
has developed in the last 40 years,
we looked at where we are
in our lives
and how to proceed.
Rather than simply hope for change,
we looked at the specific changes
we want to work toward
and the steps we can take
to get there.
As Macy teaches,
this four-step process
consists of expressing gratitude,
honoring our pain for the world,
catching a vision—with new eyes—
and taking the steps needed
to go forward.

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While my desire
is that everyone on the planet
join in this work,
it is extremely wonderful
to do the good work
we did on Saturday
with the group gathered here.

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Our closing
was outside,
dancing our prayer
for the planet—
as Joanna Macy teaches
in The Elm Dance,
created during the years
she was helping people
in Russian villages
following the Chernobyl nuclear
disaster.