schirin oeding

under a peregrine star

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Giving thanks each day


Today is just one day before we leave here. We (the 29 of us who have indulged our minds and hearts by spending six weeks studying ecological literacy together) are more challenged, more intensely committed, more vibrantly empowered, and more alive than when we came here over a month ago. I feel as though I should say, “I have been overwhelmed.” (That would be a good reason for having let the blog sleep for so long…) But I have not been overwhelmed. I have been overjoyed and nourished. Today, gratitude and excitement are my primary emotions. On Friday morning, I leave for Switzerland, for the mountains, and for the all-encompassing views that will certainly trigger a process of digestion which has been stalled by the enormous amount of knowledge that’s been transmitted these past weeks. I aim to be inspired by the cows of the mountains: ruminating —digesting, and re-digesting.


So, for now, I’ll share an exercise from this morning’s class. Who is an ecologically literate person, really? What does he or she do? How does this individual live life? An attempted answer. An ecologically literate person is:

A humble student of the land.

Someone who values interdependence over standing alone.

Someone who sees her-/himself as part of the great and powerful whole.

Someone who values life, and the living, without judgement.

Someone who cares for our plants and our most ancient seeds with love and abandon, and knows that food can heal and bring us home.

Someone who has the clarity of vision and the power of observation needed to see where we have gone wrong.

Someone who is an optimist, though they have considered all the facts.

Someone who can still laugh and cry with passion,

Someone who plants trees for the next seven generations,

Someone who values hard work, and work done by hand, as much as (or more than) any other kind of labor,

Someone who can be still in the presence of plants, animals, and other human beings, and does not shy away from the unknown,

Someone whose curiosity is embedded in kindness and interconnectivity,

Someone who gives thanks each day.