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Meet Me Where We Are: Introduction to the Collaborative Series

The sun is creeping toward me as a write this, which always fills me with anticipation for the day. When I was hiking the PCT, I learned how important it is to set up camp in a spot where the sun will hit you earliest in the morning. I remember breathing into my hands and staring out at the sun painted on the mountains across the valley and wishing it would come toward me and my dew-covered gear a little faster. I took comfort in its predictability— it would get to me eventually.

This morning is the kind of hope-filled spring morning that reminds me why I still love to go out into the chilly nights and why I carry on through the wet winters. As I look outside, I see the daffodils waking up and remembering why they do too. It’s the magic of the first light that we know will arrive, even when we can’t imagine it through the clouds.

The sun brings bird visitors and a slow steam off the deck. The steam is cold water and warm sun—our allies bringing life to this world. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply.

The cold water and the warm sun chip in with the photosynthesizers to give you that breath. It enmeshes you into a community of humans and more-than-humans alike. A part of what we will do together in this collaborative series will involve getting comfortable thinking about ourselves as a part of and inseparable from the natural world around us. If you feel you have no reference for such a notion, begin with breath— the cold water, the warm sun, the green plants, and you.

This series will span 14 weeks on the blog (if you are reading this and we have already started, or even finished, you can still participate!). Our goal is to take a little time to slow down and find common ground in a world where our newsfeeds and brain waves are facing constant assault by images and claims of divisions. We will reimagine our relationships with one another and create works of caring and compassion. We will think about how we make meaning in our world, our role in our ecological communities, and how we can better approach ourselves and others with grace. We will seek new perspectives, connect, create, and celebrate.

On the odd weeks I will post a short piece along with a prompt which you can respond to via email On the even weeks, I will post a compilation of some of the responses to the prompt. To participate, you do not have to submit a response, and if you do submit a response, it does not have to be written—it can be drawn, sung, played, sewn, sculpted, even cooked! You can attach your name to the response… or not! And, importantly for some of you, a response doesn’t have to take more than a few minutes if you don’t want it to. We will begin on April 12, 2021! I hope you will follow along.

This series came to life thanks to The Spring Creek Project for Nature, Ideas, and the Written Word, which afforded me the uninterrupted time and space to write the during residency at Shotpouch Cabin. It is where I am writing from now, surrounded by a view of a sunlit spring, looking forward to sharing this experience with you.

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