Helen Cat Beckers
Wiesbaden, Germany
2017

Story Info

Radical Joy For Hard Times Stories Beckers

Story & Experience

Together with the students of our yearlong program we gathered between a field of monoculture and a raised blind. The two days before we had spent a lot of time on the land, in group as well as alone, during the day as well as at night. Voices of sorrow and pain arose, of feeling disconnected, of longing for belonging, of fear for inner and outer darkness, of old wounds reappearing. It felt right that on day 3 of our meeting we expressed our feelings of grief, shared them with each other, gave them room to be, and then created beauty and brought joy to the land.

We chose the place between the field of monoculture and the raised blind because to us it represents how we no longer live in reciprocity with the earth and her beings, how we keep taking, as if we are “above” all else, not a part of. We sat down in a circle and shared our feelings of how monoculture and “modern” hunting (and the way we treat animals in general) affects the world. We shared our grief and then began expressing our gratitude too. We decided to dance between the field and the blind raise, like children, full of fire and life and joy. We sang and the earth sang with us. A yellowhammer joined us.

This little patch of earth had never been danced and sang upon. It was vibrating and full of life. We could feel laughter underneath our feet. In silence we started to create an image with the gifts the plants, and trees and stones gave us. We could see care takers in it, new villages, transformation, fires around which people and beings gather, water flowing, connection, nests for future generations, ancestors, circles with no end, a tree rooting deep and growing high. We felt hope, humility and joy. We left the gift for that little patch of land between the field and the raised blind, knowing that even though soon a tractor would come and drive over it, we can continue to be a gift for the land, for the human and the more-than-human world by living more consciously, by listening, by taking care, by expressing both grief and joy and by sharing the new story with our communities at home.

Wildnisschule Weltenwandler, Students of the year long program “Wildnispädagogik”, Wiesbaden-Germany

Wiesbaden, Germany

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