Joanna Macy’s “The Work That Reconnects”

On Saturday, I mentioned attending a Joanna Macy inspired ritual in Elkhart as part of my friend Nicole’s birthday celebration. David and I had the pleasure of hearing Joanna speak in 2012 when we lived in Madison, but we had not ever attended any of her workshops. This ritual was based on her concept of the Work That Reconnects:

“The activist’s inner journey appears to me like a spiral, interconnecting four successive stages or movements that feed into each other. These four are:

  1. opening to gratitude,
  2. owning our pain for the world,
  3. seeing with new eyes,
  4. going forth.”

We really didn’t know what to expect, but we love Nicole and what she and her friends at Prairie Wolf Collective bring to life, so we went with open minds and hearts. We found there an intimate group of mostly strangers (to us), which oddly made the Work That Reconnects feel even more reassuring and powerful. Respecting the privacy and sacredness of the group experience, I’ll just share some of my own observations and takeaways.

First of all, as I’ve mentioned before, Joanna Macy is up there as one of my most admired people on this planet. I love that she has created a process that communities can repeat for themselves, helping people to tune deeply into both ecology and the people around them. Nicole’s community actively facilitated the entire process, dramatizing the destruction of our ecosystem, and leading various exercises, group sharing, songs and rituals.

I have to agree that “gratitude grounds us.” After watching the interpretive Dance of the Waters — from their original freedom to pollution and corporate control to their healing through love and effort of individuals, I was afraid I might start bawling and not be able to stop. The gratitude exercises, circling through the group with why we’re glad to be alive at this time (The Great Turning), memories of a sacred childhood place, someone who made us believe in ourselves and something we appreciate about ourselves really did anchor me back into a position of strength, despite reeling from the magnitude of our task to heal this planet and return to a culture of life.

Next, we moved to the Element of Fire — outside — building a bonfire with bones and sticks, each of us speaking to the group before adding our piece. This was the “honoring our pain” portion, and for me, living in Northern Indiana, I am never far from the pain of what we have done to this planet. It hurts. I have lived in many of the most beautiful, pristine places of North America, and until moving here, I always chose my locale for its proximity to some gorgeous, large natural feature. From Seattle to Santa Fe to Sedona to Lake Tahoe to Monterey to the shores of Lake Michigan … on and on through 43 addresses, I’ve always made sure to live and breathe the beauty. The landscape has always been a part of who I am.

It took six months of recurring dreams in 2009 telling me to move from Sonoma County California to Northern Indiana, and even then, I did so by way of daily walks by Lake Michigan and then Madison, WI and the nearby woods and lakes, only moving here because my true love needed to care for his parents here. He asked, and I agreed, because six months of such bizarre dreams is no small thing.

But it hurts to live here.

When we first found this property, I felt the pain of neglected land that had had its trees clear cut in preparation for the gut rehab of the house. I saw the dry, cracked earth, full of scraggly weeds and dead tree stumps — and I knew that if we did not take this rental, that it would take hundreds of gallons of toxic RoundUp, imported topsoil and sod to make this yard “acceptable.” I could feel the Nature Spirits traumatized, the animals bereft of shelter, and even though the neighbors all swore this was such “an improvement” over the way it was, every fiber of my being recoiled at the trauma.

Beyond our yard, we have a factory across the street, a caved in garage roof two doors down, and some of the most impoverished, tiny neighborhoods I have ever driven through, let alone lived near. Our rivers are filled with so many chemicals that a local scientist tells me the fish are hermaphrodites, and Monsanto rules the roost with GMO corn and soy fields all across this flat expanse. I learned on Saturday that for a hundred years, Indiana had 10 square miles of trees cleared per day. Diana is the Goddess of the Woodlands, making the name In-Diana as ironic as naming a state after the indigenous people forcibly marched out on the Trail of Death. Along with the real Indians and the Goddess of the Woodlands, straight streets, flat plowed fields and extremely patriarchal, stark religions have managed to squash almost every remaining vestige of the Sacred Feminine.

Ninety trains per day shriek their brakes and toot their horns, while transporting car after car of RoundUp-sprayed GMO high fructose corn syrup. Huge trucks rattle right through Main Street, and illegal immigrants inhale toxic fumes and dust particles in RV and other factories. When the economy crashed here in 2007 — before the rest of the nation — some neighborhoods experienced 80% unemployment, and with such high illegal populations that few could collect any benefits. With such challenges, maintaining yards, sidewalks or caved in garages were hardly priorities.

All of this and more I see, hear, smell, taste and feel. Daily.

This is why I garden. This is why I have hauled over 25,000 pounds of wood mulch, over 10,000 pounds of compost, coffee, potting soil, and manure to heal the soil. This is why I plant ornamental fruit trees and fruiting shrubs, why I obsess over an eight foot tall grape vine trellis, sunflowers, scarlet runner bean tee-pees, and morning glories. This is why I just ordered a Sweet Mock Orange to create a fragrant hedge on the north edge of the front yard, why I’ve got five profusely blooming, tough-as-nails Robinhood Rose bushes to form a hedge out front, and why I choose ornamental varieties for all my vegetable crops. This is why the inside of our home has become a different universe, one that welcomes faeries, the Goddess, and sacred rituals celebrating the Wheel of the Year. This is why I continue to paint portals towards a better future, why I keep interfacing with locals who look at me like I have three heads or don’t belong, why I offered two Reiki certification classes at a Mennonite church last year, and why when people compliment my garden, I admit to receiving faery help.

Confession and perhaps not a surprising one: during the winters in Elkhart County, Indiana, I fantasize about living elsewhere. Without my garden or mature evergreens to clean the air and remind me why I’m here, I cocoon deep inside our faery cottage. Except after the quiet, magical snows that temporarily beautify everything, in winter, I often go weeks without leaving the house, looking at nothing besides my paintings, indoor plants, tarot cards and books. Piles and piles of books about gardening, food forests, and the Faery Realm. Whenever people visit, they immediately notice the “other realm” nature of our home. The energy sparkles inside, and until things start pushing their way back to life outside, my heart can’t stand the brutality of what humanity has done to Northern Indiana.

I didn’t say all of this on Saturday as I picked up a bone to place on the fire, but raw emotion flooded through what I did manage to share. I felt the tears, hot, like lava in my stomach, exploding from my heart, and cracking through my voice, and then it hit me: I’m not just feeling Northern Indiana in contrast to Monterey or Lake Tahoe. I am feeling Gaia Herself, weeping for the way Her children have used Her, beaten, raped and overpowered Her. Everywhere. Elkhart County just forces me to recognize and feel that pain, to own it instead of blissfully pretending it doesn’t exist as I look at waters filled with invisible radiation or land parched by geo-engineered drought. There is one Earth, and all of Her is sacred. Some parts need more help than others, but all of this planet needs healing. As much as I would love to run away, to distract myself from this visceral pain, truly, where would I go?  If I don’t heal this land, my little spot in Goshen, then, tell me, who will? 

Who else would have looked at hundreds of tree stumps, tens of thousands of dandelions, quack grass clumps, a creeping field of garlic mustard, sorrel and poison ivy and thought, “Permaculture Paradise”? Who else, right here, right now, would have spent the hours and money to heal, regenerate and harmonize this land?

On Saturday, I remembered my place — not just via remembered recurring dreams, but in my body and in my soul. In the gratitude section, I realized that what I’ve done with this land is no different than what I do with discarded doors — purifying them, cleaning them, sealing them, and painting them into portals that lead to preferred destinations. This time on Earth — what Joanna Macy calls “The Great Turning,” in which everything falls apart with unknown outcome but enormous potential for healing — is really no different than individual coaching sessions in which I help people move through their worst nightmares into a magical, healed, and preferred life. It’s not easy, but I love it. I love showing up at these moments of incredible odds and almost unimaginable creation.

The next part of the spiral had us back inside, literally walking backwards, around and around the circle, metaphorically moving back through time to all the challenges our ancestors have faced. This portion was the least new to me, since I spend so much time doing past life readings. I’m quite familiar with perennial challenges facing humanity, as well as my own soul’s history, even though I don’t know my family history much beyond my grandparents. I still enjoyed the exercise, appreciating how fortunate I am to experience such a vast temporal perspective on a daily basis. “Seeing with new eyes” for me meant recognizing how blessed I am to live so far out of ordinary life.

The final part of the spiral was “going forth,” and it involved wandering aimlessly around the room until we were told to stop. Then, we paired up with the closest person to us, holding hands, gazing into each others’ eyes and silently participating in whatever exercise the facilitators read. I ended up taking the opportunity to offer a huge surge of Reiki and Runic healing to whomever I paired off with. The energies just surged through me, and I realized another key difference between my regular life and that of most people’s “ordinary life”: Presence. I spend my days in sessions, deeply honoring the being of each client, and David and I have a strong, soulful connection with each other. I had given up on most other people here being able to connect anywhere near that level. I always feel the walls of culture, religion, repression or distraction. So many walls wherever I go here, but in this exercise, for those brief moments, I realized, “Wow! This capacity has not been completely bred out of people in this area. Some are capable of this level of presence. Good to know.”

I felt my own energy expand in a way I rarely allow it to here, out of respect for the extreme Anabaptist infiltration of everyday life. Mystical it is not! In those moments of feeling the Reiki and Runes surging through me and having an unknown other actually trying to connect instead of running from that level of soul communion, I let my energy relax even more, not caring if magic happened around me, as it usually does when my energy moves — freaking out bookstore clerks, baffling salespeople or other shoppers when books or objects I need appear out of nowhere. Here, in the course of “going forth,” I thought, “Ahhh, yes, I will continue to go forth, and maybe there are receptors for what I have to offer in Elkhart County.” I looked forward to conversing afterwards with those I’d connected with in silence.

The ritual ended, and poof! Presto, change-o, I felt all the walls re-erect themselves, and I smiled to myself. Patience, grasshopper. The first three people I connected with seemed to pointedly and awkwardly avoid me for the rest of our time there, but the last one spent hours talking with David and me. We connected with others, as well, not to the degree we are capable of connecting with others, but more deeply than usual in this reserved area. I left the gathering recognizing just how much this community (and probably many communities) need(s) The Work That Reconnects, and I felt grateful that we have people willing to show up. I feel grateful for Nicole and her dozens of friends who took the time on a Saturday afternoon to drum, to cry, to share, and to build — to recognize the pain of our planet and to commit to doing our own part as individuals and as a community to heal ourselves and our Mother. I feel grateful and humbled to heal this yard and to teach and live in this county, in this state, which people on either coast usually dismiss as backwards, redneck and ugly.

In many ways, they would not be wrong, but to dismiss Elkhart County whole cloth is to miss the subtle beauties of regenerating land, economy and soul. I, of course, went home and ordered a bunch more plants, because you always need more flowers, ground cover and nuts. Can’t forget the hazel nuts! In the process of determining which hedges to put where, I heard from a local gardening friend about the Arbor Day Foundation, an organization devoted to growing more trees all over the US. They want to encourage people to plant more trees, so they sell them to you for very low cost, enabling more people to afford more trees. Even if you live in a less obviously hurt spot of Mother Earth, I encourage you to check out the Arbor Day Foundation to see what trees grow well in your zone and area of the country. You can even leave a will of trees, gifts that last a lifetime.

I will leave you with the words of Chief Seattle, quoted recently by Ann Kreilkamp, a friend and fellow InDiana resident from fellow Transition Town, Bloomington:

Every part of the earth is sacred to my people.

Every shining pine needle,

every sandy shore,

every mist in the dark woods,

every meadow,

every humming insect.

All are holy in the memory and experience

of my people.

This we know.

We belong to the Earth.

The Earth does not belong to us.

Chief Seattle, from his Letter to All the People

32 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Cheryl on March 30, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Bless you dear Laura, you are healing the whole planet. We are grateful. XO


  2. Thank you, Cheryl! Much love!


  3. Posted by seattle72 on March 30, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Thank you for sharing as you have here, and thank you for all your healing and creation work!

    Your experience of the ‘go forth’ segment, and your observations of the walls that pop right back up after, really spoke to me. For a long time now, I’ve wondered at why it’s so difficult to find those deep soulful connections, that my willingness to connect that deeply is most often not reciprocated. I understand a little better now. So I think I recieved a mini-coaching session from this post! 😉

    Thank you again, for all you do!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Posted by Demitra M. N. on March 30, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    A masterfully crafted composition that gives voice to the tragedy and suffering inflicted on more than “just” landscape. The long-standing sorrow and agony has rendered Mother’s calls faint and weak. Perhaps your affective words, your sensitive pleas for the deliverance of Nature, which only love can hear, will carry far and wide now, taking root everywhere, because surely, the time has come. Thank you, Laura.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you, Seattle72. Glad this helped put things into perspective! Love and blessings on your own journey….


  6. Thank you, Demitra! Yes, only love can hear these pleas, and I pray we each listen and do what we can. Love and blessings!


  7. Laura – Thank you for this honest and eloquent post. I was deeply moved.

    I vacillated about responding to you, but in the end decided to share, for what it’s worth, the four words that came strongly up for me as I read.

    Get out of there.

    All kinds of disclaimers and qualifications are in my mind to offer at this point, but I’ll refrain from uttering them. I wish you the best, wherever you are.

    Respectfully, Jeff Berryman



  8. Thank you, Jeff. We are still helping David’s parents and also helping the town transition in some key ways. All options will be on the table in a couple years, but for now, we are just going to start traveling more. 🙂


  9. I feel your pain. I recently moved to a small town outside Pittsburgh, Pa which is economically depressed, although not nearly as much as your town. I can’t imagine having to look outside my home to a factory, and the decay you see. I do see neglected homes here and no one around me has so much as a small garden. It’s hard to look at the area and see the way so many are struggling to just exist. What you are doing to your rental property is so needed, I hope you inspire those around you for as long as you live there.

    I too wish I could leave during the long winters.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. […] So what did she do? Read Laura’s full post to learn just what she did, and why she did it, here. […]


  11. Thank you, Lois. It’s such a paradox being here, because apparently, it used to be so much worse. We moved here just as things had started ramping towards a tenuous recovery, so there are many “cultural creatives” bringing music, art, theater and new architecture to the area. No one seems to feel the land quite as intensely as I do, but most people don’t empath things to this degree.

    I’m heartened that several people have asked me to help them design their yards this year, and my wood mulch guy now has a list of eleven homes where he delivers wood mulch he used to need to pay to dump. Little by little, changes are happening here.

    I wish you well in your own situation. It’s not, by chance, Scotdale that you live in, is it? That is the town where David grew up, but most people migrated to Goshen after the Mennonite Publishing House closed there. Goshen is a truly odd mecca and paradox. Quite the crucible!


  12. Posted by Anthony on March 30, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    Thanks for this inspiring post. I think you really were called to be where you are now, to show people what is possible and to help balance the area. One leprechaun can enchant an entire forest, even if she has to grow the whole thing herself! But I know how hard it must be for you; I, too have lived in mostly beautiful areas and suffered greatly while going to graduate school in Houston…


    I live in California right now, and rather than be awed by the beauty, I am besides myself with sadness at the damage wrought by the drought. Were you here now, it might be too painful for you to witness. Every day I go outside to take care of what is left of my yard and I notice the absense of hummingbirds, Monarch butterflies (or ANY butterflies), lady bugs, bees, and even worms popping up when it does rain. I can’t even remember the last time I saw a poppy.

    I do now understand why I am here, though: I have a calling here.

    As I mentioned previously, I am a Biologist. I do toxicological studies on Sacramento river water. For the last several years, the fish that I use in my tests (fathead minnows) have been dying when I put them in a mixture of river and waste water (I work at a sewage treatment plant). Previous to that time, this almost never happened.

    I started doing some research to see what could be killing these fish, and I came across some studies of the pathology of fish that have been exposed to aluminum nanoparticles. The pathology described in these papers is identical to what we have seen here: the gills of our fish have been scored by an irritant, allowing secondary infections to occur – resulting in the death of the fish.

    Wondering if aluminum is the culprit here, I requisitioned our metals data for the river water sampled at the same time and place we get the water for our fish tests (but used for another study, so I never saw it before). Bingo: there are definite periodic spikes of aluminum in the river water – as high as several grams per liter! – above and beyond any other metal tested at the same time, and with no correspondence to river flow volumes or other factors I can think of.

    I took this data and showed it to my supervisor, and do you know what happened? His face went beet red and he said: ‘you need to find another reason for our fish deaths.’ Of course, he said this after I mentioned that the very conditions that are killing the fish in our tests exist south of our wastewater plant on the river, where the Delta Smelt are disappearing – a fish analogous to the fathead minnow.

    So right now I am just collecting data, and waiting for the right time to come forth. I have contacted Dane Wigington and we have shared some information, but at the present time all I can really do is what I am doing here: sharing the word that geoengineering is real, and smoking-gun proof does exist.

    But until my superiors are willing to back me up, I can’t do more because I’d probably be fired and sued for releasing this ‘proprietary’ data to the public, without undergoing the ‘stringent peer-review’ process, and my studies would be shrugged off as just another conspiracy theory. But I will continue to do what I can to awaken people to this madness (and GMO’s and vaccines too, as I worked in those industries as well), in the hopes that it isn’t too late.

    In any case, thanks for sharing your plight, and know that it is for a reason – and this goes to every other light worker out there who also finds themselves ‘alone’ at this time.


  13. Posted by CindyW. on March 30, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    and I have had an intuition some times that it is precisely in the “ugly” places that such healing is most needed. I met a local massage healer (she does reiki but not her specialty) who had lived in California. We looked at each other and said, “why are we back here?” and both laughed “we must be here for a reason!” thank you and the group for caring about the devastation of In-Diana – it used to be better in some places when I was a child – more wildlife – so much has gone through industrialization.


  14. Posted by DW on March 30, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    I feel your pain too. This morning in particular I awoke feeling the Earth’s pain. For her and for her inhabitants. I do deeply believe all people are capable of and in great need of that deep connection. You always have a choice! Side note: people who otherwise are oblivious to a connected reality beyond their cell phone will often make a joyous connection with my dog. Baby steps.

    Please keep the faith there in Northern Indiana. She needs you.

    Here in Los Angeles, it was over 90F for 6 consecutive days for the first time on record. And it’s only March. Here’s something remarkable and inspirational from our desert: a man in South Central LA started planting edible gardens on parkways, the abandoned dirt areas in front of sidewalks. The city initially cited him with threat of arrest warrant, but as of now, he has a whole community movement going on (instead of driving 45 minutes for a fresh clean tomato) and lots and lots of vegetables growing in the inner city, empowering people to grow their own clean food… Possibility abounds!

    Beautifully written post, Laura. I stand with all you earth mammas. xo


  15. Very powerful experience and post Laura, beautifully written. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. […] « Joanna Macy’s “The Work That Reconnects” […]


  17. Thank you, Mitch! And thanks for letting me vicariously experience the PNW’s beauty so often through your photos. Always much appreciated, as I channel my memories of beautiful places I’ve been back into the forgotten land right here.


  18. Thanks, DW! Oh, yes, I love Ron Finley. He’s fabulous and is another one of my heroes, reminding me of the power of the flower … and fresh picked food. Thank you for doing the work you’re doing there, too. xo


  19. Thank you, Cindy, and I agree … “we must be here for a reason!” I know that we are. Despite my sadness at how little of what I have to offer gets received here, I do recognize the difference that both David and I are making. It is humbling and gratifying, and I am so grateful to have lived in such amazing places for as long as I did. Truly a privilege for which I have daily gratitude.


  20. Wow, Anthony, thank you for what you’re doing in California! Yes, we need to get someone, somewhere to wake up and stop the geo-engineering. I’ll send you some extra Reiki, because what you’re doing is very brave and very important.

    I know you’re right about if I were in California right now. I have friends who tell me what’s happening in areas I used to live or visit. I’ve seen gorgeous areas completely dry and barren. That’s part of what made me realize, it’s not just Elkhart County I’m feeling. It’s everywhere. We each need to do our part, and many of us are strategically placed to bring just our special kind of healing to wherever we are.

    I love this: “One leprechaun can enchant an entire forest, even if she has to grow the whole thing herself!” Many thanks for your comment and your work.


  21. Posted by Sonya on March 30, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    The word that stood up for me, after reading every word of your post, Laura, flashing in my face like a neon sign, was presence. Presence – the gift of being there, invoking, commanding poise and attention. I felt the relief of mother Earth that someone is feeling her so deeply and is willing and capable of bringing awareness and positive change through igniting love, compassion and inspiration in the hearts of others. You are planting seeds and trees not just in the soil of your property but in the souls of every unaware person you come in contact with. This post gives me hope. Thank you!
    Much love

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Thanks and much love to you, Sonya! I’m so looking forward to seeing you soon, too! Thank you for the beauty, presence, love and compassion you carry with you, too.


  23. Posted by Anthony on March 30, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Thanks for the Reiki, and once again for your own work. It moved me because you saw what needed to be done and are now doing it, even though it seemed overwhelming at the start. I take inspiration from that 🙂

    Also, sorry for going into such detail!! I always seem to do that…but what I realize is what I need is a proper forum to share my information, and will ask the angels to set me up with that. I guess I just wanted to share that I too am doing what I can, and I am heartened that you are able to tangibly make a difference in your circumstance.

    And a message of hope: there are a LOT of people out there like me; people who know absolutely what is going on in this world in every field who are just biding their time to come out with their information. I think if/when the economy collapses, there will be an avalanche of whisleblowers the likes of which the world has never seen. The loss of a paycheck will have an emboldening effect on those who no longer have anything left to lose…


  24. Wow again, Anthony. I had not thought of it that way with the paychecks and no longer having anything left to lose. You are right. The would be controllers have really boxed themselves into some tight corners. No wonder they’re trying to open portals with CERN. Even that will backfire on them, though. I’m energy sensitive, and portals are opening all the time lately — but not ones that benefit the self-appointed and delusional “elite.” Thanks for sharing here and for what you’re doing. I’ll see if I can get the Faery Referral Network to help you find a proper forum, too. They hate chemtrails more than most!


  25. Posted by Kieron on March 31, 2015 at 1:10 am

    Wow. Powerful essay, potentially uncomfortable to read, but it clearly spoke to a lot of people judging by the comments. I think that one reason I avoid events like the one you describe because it brings up too much sadness, pain and loneliness. The connection being sought never quite makes it across, leaving it feeling worse than if I’d never tried. So I just don’t, anymore, and keep doing my solitary, thankless and un-thanked things, although I know the Unseen see and make note. 🙂

    I’m reminded that here there’s an annual May Day celebration in a city park where a pageant is produced by In The Heart Of The Beast Puppet Theatre. You can see some images from last year’s show: The pageant features a theme of how things once used to be harmonious between the land and the people. That is, until the arrival of the enemy, or the greed-heads, corporate money-junkies, or thugs of some kind of another, who then destroy everything and send the animals packing and split the people off from the land. You have to see this Tree of Life Ceremony to believe it. Anyway… this pain you speak of always creeps up on me, watching the ceremony play out, because the pageant sticks its finger right into the wound–as it should! In 2002, for example, the year after we invaded Iraq, the theme was Mayday! Mayday! and they managed to arrange for air raid sirens to sound through the park during the Tree of Life ceremony, echoing the warning of bombing raids that the Iraqi people were then well-experienced in. It was a cloudy, somber day. And participants in the ceremony carried in long black banners, inscribed in white paint with the names of the known American and Iraqi casualties, while multiple voices on loudspeakers read the names, like a living Vietnam Memorial. I happened to be wearing a balaclava that day because the weather was quite chilly, and I had to wear it over my face in shame and grief, and it was astonishing that few of the thousand or so people seated on the hillside around me seemed to be affected… I think they may have been frankly stunned by the bluntness of the message.

    In defense of people, though, I think it speaks to something in us that the crowd has swelled from a few score in the 1975 original, to the close to 5- or 6,000 spectators currently. People are awed by the show, and it moves something deep in them, and perhaps even shifts things in them so that they do things differently. They also mob the Halloween Show in October, to where 3 additional shows had to be scheduled to accommodate all the attendees! People *want* this stuff. I’m encouraged by this, and by the admissions of the two spiritual directors I am seeing: When pressed, they tell me people are seeking them out, asking for spiritual guidance, and are beginning to say these things out loud, the same things you and I and everyone else who comes to this blog have been saying for years: what does it mean to have a meaningful life of connection to what really matters? In other words, The Work That Reconnects. It’s happening, but excruciatingly slowly.


  26. Thanks, Kieron. That sounds very intense in 2002 — and so it should be! Yes, the changes are happening, but as you say, “excruciatingly slowly.” Seeds I planted — more like dumped several entire packets of seeds shortly after we moved here — are only just now starting to sprout to life. But they are sprouting, nonetheless. If I were coming from an ego place, I’d be very tempted to say, “Nope! Too late. You snooze, you lose,” but with that attitude, we would all lose. It is much easier not to try at all, but then, that’s not why I’m here, in Goshen or on this planet. When I made the connection between the doors I paint (and I picked up another broken, discarded door at that event) and what I’m doing here and with my intuitive work, something really clicked in me. I know my most important work is all Unseen and Unsung, and I’m okay with that, but if I opt not to do it at all, then I am not being me. Whether anyone here recognizes who or what I am, I do, and I plant seeds and nurture growth, in whatever ways and times feel right. Thanks for being you and for what you do to help others. I’m glad you’re finding some support for yourself, as I know your particular line of work has its own heartbreaks amidst the triumphs.


  27. Love this so much. Had to read it in two sittings because I felt overwhelmed halfway. Thank you for all you do!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Thank you, Janet!


  29. I thought this post might be of interest to others wanting to heal forgotten or damaged land:


  30. […] And from Laura Bruno: Joanna Macy’s “The Work that Reconnects” […]


  31. […] only trips through Indiana had convinced me I would never in a million years want to live there. (This March 2015 post describes how and why I wound up in Indiana.) My urgency to leave Sonoma County and get back to Chicago with an eventual destination of Indiana […]


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