Standing on holy ground

Close up of bright white bush anemone and buds (Carpenteria californica) in a private garden in San Ramon, California. Photo by Betsey Crawford

Ever since I was introduced to Thomas Berry’s work in 2000, his thinking has informed and enriched my own beyond measure. Recently I was asked to contribute an essay for a book about him. I chose one of my favorite of his ideas: that we look not to ancient texts for revelation to fuel and refresh ourselves but to Earth herself.

“We need to go to the earth, as the source from whence we came, and ask for its guidance, for the earth carries the psychic structure as well as the physical form of every living being upon the planet.”

I spend a lot of time doing just that, so it was a perfect fit.

Happy Halloween: entangled in webs

Mycelium fruit: orange western jack-o-lantern mushroom (Omphalotus olivescens) on Mount Burdell in Novato, California. Photo by Betsy Crawford

Because of its ubiquity, everywhere we go we are treading on an intelligent underground. Beings that can communicate, transport, find their way from one goal to another along the most efficient route. That can overcome problems. negotiate with other beings, sort through options. That know what is happening at the farthest reaches of their vast network. So far, how they do all of this  remains a mystery, as does so much nonhuman wisdom. 

The depth of water: celebrating the Season of Creation

Raindrops on an upside down white poppy in a garden in California by Betsey Crawford

Our ancestors had it right: they worshipped water. And for this year’s Season of Creation I am joining them. I’m far from the only one. Indigenous peoples still revere water, as does the Afro-Caribbean culture. The rest of us would do well to take their hands because water’s presence on this planet is what makes every manifestation of life possible. Water is central to creation myths worldwide because it actually created us.

A wild love for the world

Wild geranium (Geranium erianthum) Wynn Nature Center, Homer, Alaska by Betsey Crawford

In this moment, is it still possible to face the gathering darkness, and say to the physical Earth, and to all its creatures, including ourselves, fiercely and without embarrassment, I love you, and to embrace fearlessly the burning world?  ~ Barry Lopez ~ My youngest nephew is standing at the gates of adulthood appalled by …

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Beauty: the great interrupter

Mountain tops in clouds on the road between Lake Louise and Banff in Alberta, Canada by Betsey Crawford

All people everywhere possess an innate hunger for, and right to, what is sustaining, good, and beautiful. ~ Bill Strickland ~ Thirty years ago this summer I was hiking through a forest in upstate New York with my 5-year-old son. He had skipped ahead around a curve and came running back, wide-eyed. He took my …

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The enchanted boy

White iris douglasiana with ferns on the Baltimore Canyon Trail, Larkspur, California by Betsey Crawford

Inside, that’s where I store these moments, accumulated in a cabinet of noticings and happenings, brought out when I need them most, to illuminate. I must go into the world to find new things. They are always there. Always. ~ Dara McAnulty ~ In the face of devastating news from every direction, I have been reading …

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