Join us as we welcome each season by listening to The Stories Trees Tell. We will be joining together at Hominy Creek in West Asheville, NC to listen to what the trees have to say. We will meet at the fire pit that is closer to the Hominy Creek Trail entrance on Sand Hill Rd. [Click for map.] Please bring a notebook and a pen and a blanket or camping chair to sit on. We will spend some time sitting in a circle around the fire together. We will also be spending some quiet time walking in and listening to nature. We will then write what we experienced and join together to share those experiences.
The event will be led by Erin Everett, an Asheville-area resident who is also a quiatlzques, a weather worker and tradition-holder in the Nahua lineage of the Central Highlands of Mexico.
Interview Excerpt about The Stories Trees Tell, a quarterly free event hosted by Dogwood Alliance. This interview took place in December 2018, but events are ongoing. Come join us! Info on upcoming events and locations is here.
Kimala Luna: I want to introduce my friend, Erin Everett. She is a weather worker who was trained in this ancient lineage from the Central Highlands of Mexico. She has been part of this for about 16 years. Our events are rooted in this old way of viewing the planet and interacting with the “aware other,” the trees.
Erin Everett: This event is about reconnecting to our relationship with the “aware other,” which is one of the ways I refer to the natural world around us. We, as human beings in this modern world, get tons of interaction from other humans: we’re on the internet, we hear human opinions all the time. We get tons of feedback from people, whether it’s through media or social media or just engaging with each other. What ancestral people around the world, whether it’s people still living in that way or our own ancestors, did and still do. Whether it’s in the old days or people living that way now, we connect with the world in a way that we’re listening to everything around us, not just human people.
What would conservation be like – Dogwood Alliance is focused on forest conservation, for example – what would forest conservation be like if we were engaging with the natural world as beings that we’re related with. Many people have heard, for example, that some Native people who live in this country now, refer to the natural world as “all my relations.” Oren Lyons, a great Onondaga teacher, has said that “What you people call your natural resources, we call our relatives.”
So, what would it be like if we were relating with the natural world, not as statistics (like, “if we cut down trees, then we won’t have enough oxygen”), but more as, we have a relationship, not theoretically, but in actuality to the forests, and the weather, the trees in our backyard, and the mountains we live in.
The question is, how does one start to cultivate a relationship like that? We can talk with each other and say, I want to see this tree as my family. But, how do we actually engage in that way? This event is one way to take a first step or two into that realm of the mystery of “all our relations.
Because we’re working with the Dogwood Alliance, and they’re working with trees and forests, we’re engaging specifically with the trees around us. I would say that, in this event, we not only get to know ourselves better, but we also engage with each other in circle quite a bit by sharing, and we also move outside the human circle into the circle of all life around us to engage in that circle, as well. So, it’s taking the conversation into – what’s underlying the imbalance that’s causing environmental destruction?
You could say, it’s because corporations need this or that, or because we are consuming too much, we’re overpopulated…but what’s underneath all that?
Experiencing that simple, foundational connection with each other and nature is what The Stories Trees Tell is all about.
[Hear more of the interview with Erin and Kimala in the audio clip above. Interested in the free event The Stories Trees Tell, hosted by the Dogwood Alliance? Check out our upcoming events and locations here.]