We go to the Prairie Festival
at The Land Institute
the end of September every year
to dance a little to barn dance music,
hear other great homemade music,
eat some food made with perennial grain,
visit with people deeply committed
to a healthy planet for all,
learn more about the prairie’s natural systems,
and the progress of creating perennial polycultures
on the prairie
and to listen to some of the most intelligent and wise
people on the planet.
This year, we once again experienced all this,
plus a beautiful bonfire under the stars
and the morning sky on Sunday—
a prayer in itself—
as this year’s theme was about spirituality’s role
in environmental care/the land ethic.
The thing that was different this year
is that we came away
We always come away inspired,
and energized for our work.
This year, we trust that will still happen,
we have to process a little more,
take some time to sit with,
let sink in—
the state of life on the planet.
instead of just hearing the devastating news
of species extinction and other impacts
of global warming and climate change,
we were invited to take it into our hearts
what is our role in change-making.
Ah…the work of spirituality. No wonder
people avoid it.
And so we did,
are still. It’s critical work:
if we don’t face the problems,
grieve the problems,
we won’t have the courage, commitment
to do the work required of us;
we won’t choose
what our particular role is
in helping life, all life, along.
And help we must,
one speaker said,
or we damage our souls.
We will surely
Returning home to the prairie
gives us wide space for grieving the state of the planet,
and every reason to do so….
a Monarch (they are diminishing) floating by,
three Blue Jays in the birdbath the second it is filled…
the gorgeous sky,
an old Hackberry,
tall prairie grass, waving its autumn colors…
There is no way to even begin to share
the high points of the speakers’ comments.
Eventually, recordings of their talks
will be available on The Land Institute website.
And many have written articles and books.
I recommend reading:
The Land Institute founder and President
And remember we’re here
at Turtle Rock Farm
to support, encourage,
walk with on the prairie.
Our next Active Hope retreat
is scheduled for October 18.