Mary H. Reaman & Tree of LifeCommunity
Dayton Ohio -
2021

Story Info

Story & Experience

15 members of Tree of Life Community met as  a wounded place.  Since covid, our vibrant, thriving spiritual community feels as if it has been clear-cut.  Just prior to the shut-down we were a growing spiritual community of 120+ members, averaging about 70 people for Sunday services and events.  A year and a half later, it feels as if only a few of us are left standing as we currently average about 20 people for our Sunday zoom service. Today’s Earth Exchange was the first in-person event we’ve held this year and we came together to attend to Nature’s call to be attentive and renew our connection with each other and Earth.  We came together to attend to Nature’s call for attention and to take heart in Natures ability to persevere throne hard times.  And of course, Nature does not dissapoint!

Why this Place?

Dayton Ohio -

This location, a beautiful yard of one of our community members, was chosen as a representation of the holy ground that is our spiritual community – Tree of Life Community.

We chose this yard for our Earth Exchange because a member generously offered for us to meet there, and because it is the years of one of our members, it represents in some ways, “our” yard, the ground of our community.  The collective wounding of covid on our community has resulted in an inability to gather in person and support, play, and connect over the last year and half – leading to loss of active members, isolation, and disconnection and this has taken a toll on “our yard” – the ground of our community.  So today, we gathered as a broken community in this yard, on this Earth that holds us.

Act of Beauty

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Beginning with petals collected from a rose bush in my own yard, I laid down a spiral in bright pink petals, and shared how that rose bush which gets cut back nearly to the ground every fall, burst back every summer with color, vibrancy, and beauty.  We share that hope for our spiritual community.  One participant brought oak tree starters which he planted from acorns he gathered from an old oak that was  had been destroyed in his yard.  Another added an old dilapidated fairy house as she spoke about the loss of home that came with the death of her mother and the loss of a relationship through divorce, both which occurred in the last year.  Others shared debris, stones, sticks and symolizing the loss of life they’ve experienced.  Another spoke about finding openings even amidst difficulty and she added broken open walnuts and an empty bird’s next to our creation.

In our sharing found hope, courage, and gratitude for survival, for life’s relentless insistence to go on, and for the connections we share still – with each other and Earth, that sustains, supports and shows us that resiliency is her way!  We completed our offering with song, drumming, and walking lightly together as we sang, in a circle, around our offering.  It was beautiful, meaningful, and healing.

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