Reweaving the World: Healing and Renewal in Troubled Times

Lara Lwin Treadaway
Lockwood, CA 93932

Story Info


Story & Experience

The Reweaving the World retreat took place at Loving Earth Sanctuary, a beautiful 40-acre property in the foothills of the Santa Lucia mountains. Structured around deep ecologist Joanna Macy’s framework of The Work That Reconnects, we came together to lay a foundation of beauty and gratitude through the sharing of poetry and song, to honor and transmute our grief into creative re-engagement, and to weave our prayers and longings into a renewed commitment to care for ourselves, each other, and the Earth.

The land at Loving Earth Sanctuary has suffered many wounds since the devastating effects of colonization on the native Salinans and their life-ways. Due to the loss of their presence here and their ancient practices of managing and maintaining the natural fire-cycles and tending the land, it has become overgrown with certain plants and lost its carefully cultivated abundance of the past. With the introduction of non-native grasses and thistles and cattle choking out the perennial native grasses over many generations, many of the springs and creeks have dried up and the land is thirsty now for much of the year. The condors, elk, and grizzly bear that once roamed these hills are also long gone.

This gathering was dedicated to acknowledging and honoring the wounds of the land, of the world, and of our own open hearts through ritual offerings of beauty and praise. Together we practiced the ancient skills of spinning yarn from sacredly harvested wool* and making dye from native plants gathered from the land. We made grief bundles to tell of our stories of loss and longing, reclaimed the art of awakening fire from friction, and gifted our bundles to the fire while calling in new visions for the healing of our world. We wove threads of grief and gratitude into a communal tapestry adding golden threads of inspiration from a ball of hand spun, hand dyed yarn gifted to us by Trebbe Johnson, founder of Radical Joy for Hard Times. And as we wove we sang to each other about the unique gifts we each have to bring to the sacred task of reweaving the world in these troubled times.

In the days afterwards Black Sage and Yerba Santa was harvested from the land and woven together with wild flowers from our grief shrine to make bundles for smudging. A pomegranate tree was gifted to Loving Earth in gratitude for receiving our stories, songs, and prayers. Golden threads were wrapped around the roots of the tree and flowers from the grief shrine were laid at its base. Water that had been blessed throughout our rituals was offered to the pomegranate tree along with sacred ash from our ceremonial fire. This tree was offered as a symbol for all the beauty that can be made when we bring our hearts and hands together in these wounded places and in these sacred ways.

* We worked with sustainably sourced Churro wool from Diné (Navajo) sheep-herders on Black Mesa. Working with this precious yarn honors this heritage breed of sheep, supports this ancient practice, and helps the Diné people to remain on their ancestral lands and continue their traditional ways.

Lockwood, CA 93932

Image Credit:

  • Treadaway: Lara Lwin Treadaway


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Radical Joy Revealed is a weekly message of inspiration about finding and making beauty in wounded places.

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