Sasha Daucus and Tom deBree
Rocky Flats, Colorado
TYPE OF WOUNDED PLACE
TYPE OF STORY
Story & Experience
from Sasha: We did the Earth Exchange last Monday, and here is a brief description of what happened. In short, it was a very positive experience for all who gathered. Below are descriptions of the event from the individual perspectives of both co-hosts Sasha Daucus and Tom deBree. From Sasha: We gathered on a beautiful clear morning. The blue sky and sparkling water of Standley Lake, which borders the eastern side of Rocky Flats, made for an idyllic view. It was hard to imagine that under this almost fantastically beautiful landscape lay land that was contaminated by plutonium. People who came to the Earth Exchange were from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences related to Rocky Flats. This created a very interesting as well as compatible group. People were open and interested in what everyone had to say.
After short introductions, we all left to experience the land. We came back together to share our experiences. It was noticeable that people were feeling better after this experience of connecting with the land than they had at the beginning. After sharing we began to create the RadJoy bird. It was during this process that something really lovely happened. A park ranger for the area came to ask what we were doing. He was polite and willing to talk about his perspective, answer questions and listen to us. As the group left, people felt uplifted and also happy with themselves that they had come. I would rather that places like Rocky Flats didn’t exist, but they do, and I feel an increased sense of courage and stability in my life, when I take some time out to notice and connect. I am left with questions about how to take sane action regarding places like Rocky Flats, but I do feel good about that morning of giving to the Earth in an act of Beauty and the caring people who shared that event with me and the Earth.
from Tom: “We did this Earth Exchange on the border of the former nuclear weapons manufacturing site at Rocky Flats, 16 miles northwest of Denver. After soil, wind and water contamination were exposed and public protests re: the level of danger on the site and to the entire metro-Denver area became overwhelming, the site was declared a SuperFund Clean-Up site. The “clean-up” was declared by the EPA and the Energy Department to be fully completed in 2002. Now a Wildlife Refuge perimeter around the walled, guarded, monitored central manufacturing core of Rocky Flats, which remains closed indefinitely to all public access. Over the last year an initiative to expand a public access path for bicycles, horse-riding, hiking through the perimeter Wildlife Refuge has been in the news. Considerable controversy has been in evidence over plans and resolutions to open the Wildlife Refuge proposed path this fall. It is in litigation. Our Earth was a good experience. The day was cooler than have been recent weeks and cloud cover both helped to make for comfortable weather. A hawk was flying overhead as we arrived. The small group who gathered, five of us, offered rich, distinct, and beautiful sharing/listening moments, and the solo excursions into the land generated some wonderful reports and conversations. We had a good deal of fun and laughter, along with some sober reflections and sharing of concerns and journeys. We created a Rad Joy Bird at a gathering place above Standley Lake and across from Rocky Flats and had great fun doing it. A Park Ranger visited us during that moment, which precipitated some good dialogue. After the Earth Exchange was completed and the group disbursed, Sasha and I hung out talking, gathering up supplies and cleaning-up our meeting site, and the Park Ranger returned. His reason was to tell us that he had read through some of the materials we gave to him and was very grateful for our dialogue, information and what we were doing! That was a treat.”
Rocky Flats, Colorado
- Rocky Flats Earth Exchange: Sasha Daucus