What we need is a great, powerful, tremulous falling back in love with our old, ancient, primordial Beloved, which is the Earth herself.
– Martin Shaw
I am still buzzing from the beauty that was born from the 6-week writing course, Remembering Our Place in the Sacred Circle of Life! The sharing and writing that came from the group of writers from Toronto, New York, Georgia, New Mexico, and Oregon was awe inspiring and deeply healing. What seemed to resurface time and again was the surprise and delight born from the realization that the land in near proximity, places we might have been living and exploring for many years, still has lessons and gifts to offer once we slow down and take notice.
We made time for stillness, journeyed to sacred spaces, and woke up our imagination with daily practices. Then, through a variety of text, audio, and visual samples, participants were invited to find voices and imagery that inspire their own writing to reflect and honor the rhythm of the natural world. Our teachers included the elements, animals, plants, and the curves, peaks, and valleys of the physical land. Recognizing the natural world as our kin reminded us of the inextricable relationship we have and revealed a generous source of creativity. Below you will find the work of three participants. I invite you to step into the work with your whole heart.
By Sue Carduelis
O Great Creator,
Thank you for the morning sun on my back,
so my needles glisten in the light.
Thank you for the children’s contagious joy
and for my sweet admirers from the church.
Now in autumn we, the evergreens, catch the eyes
now that those other trees have dropped
their oh-so-colourful leaves.
Let me stay here, healthy,
to watch generations of children grow and flourish!
In the name of the Holy Spirit,
A Rainy Day Hawthorne
By Concetta A. Butera
Having a difficult day, I decided to take a walk outside to the labyrinth.
In the back of our land, surrounded by many beautiful species of trees there is a sacred space… away from all the trials and challenges of the day.
I had noticed the Hawthorne tree a few days before when I had walked around the labyrinth.
It was almost like she invited me to stop and say “Hello” before I proceeded. I thought how interesting; I had never stopped and noticed how quite beautiful she was with her bright red berries against her green and brown bark and dark green leaves.
This day, even though it was cold and raining, I decided to stand in her presence. The wind was gently blowing and the rain was lightly trickling down her leaves. Not being a fan of rain, I had no intention of staying long but her energy of warmth, comfort and acceptance, drew me into a moment of stillness and peace; and then… I heard her, the Hawthorne tree, spoke to me:
Come to me my friend, lay your burdens down
I will wipe away your tears
I will calm all your fears
Come to me
I will comfort you
I will enfold you with my soft embrace
I will show you the way
We are the same you and I
Made of the same magical elements…
Those that formed us and the whole Universe into Being
I stand here before you, to be a reminder
Accept yourself as I accept myself
Open your heart and
Be all you were created to Be!
Remembering Our Place in the Sacred Circle of Life is being offered again in the Spring from
March 2nd - April 6th, 2022. For more information you can email Christina at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to her website at https://www.christinamburress.com/ to learn more.
This class deepened my awareness in and of nature and gave me tools to enhance my expression; whatever I write now will be more intentionally rich and, I hope, more skillful.
An awakening experience into all the aspects of Mother Earth and all she has to offer us , right outside our door! I would highly recommend this course to anyone interested in nature, creativity , inspiration and writing
– Concetta B.
Christina offered so much richness each week! I loved it—and I am very grateful for the chance to go back to it all. I found the mix of poetry, essay, video, recording and journeys/visualizations effective, inspiring.
About the Teacher:
Christina Burress has been teaching writing since 2007 to students of all ages. She has designed and implemented both in-person and online courses whose aim is to increase confidence, inspire creativity, and encourage artistic collaboration with the natural world. She currently teaches at the University of California at San Diego Extension’s Creative Writing Certificate Program and the School of Education’s Arts in the Curriculum Masters degree at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Christina is a Shamanic Reiki practitioner. She holds a BA in Rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley, and a MFA in Creative Writing from Naropa University. She earned an Expressive Arts Certificate from Sky Mountain Institute and a Certificate in Indigenous Cultural Awareness from First Nations Technical Institute.