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A journey to share my wild love for the world

In just a couple of days, I will set out on a month of travel for the calling I’ve been been working so hard to manifest in the world. Now the seeds I’ve planted are blooming in spectacular color and I get to share my wild love for the world with a lot of curious and creative folx.

My journey of spirituality is one most aptly described as rewilding. Some people call the journey of evolving faith “deconstruction” or even being lost in the wilderness. I am not lost in the wilderness. I am found in the wilderness. What I found, or what found me, is a transcendent acceptance in the forest, where my heart and mind have flourished in ways I would have never anticipated. My faith is most alive when I am experiencing awe and delight in a vast meadow, or deep peace in the cool tranquility of a forest, or quiet refreshment by a gentle stream, and connection to the wheel of the year that celebrates the earth’s natural cycles. Anyone, especially LGBTQIA+ individuals like myself, can find solace and acceptance in the natural world, fostering resilience and deep spiritual renewal.

I am so excited, happy and yes, even a little worried about some of the travel, mostly the travel that will take me back to the United States where it feels like (from our view way across the pond), things are not exactly safe or sane.

And of course I will miss my person from whom I have not been apart from for more than a couple of weeks since we began this wild ride nearly a decade ago.

But, these things I have put in motion are exactly where I want and need to be so, for the next 4 weeks or so, I get to be in:

Kranjska Gora, Slovenia
attending the 5th International Congress Forests and Its Potential for Health (ICFPH) with the ANFT leadership with the leadership of my certifying body, the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT) guides and programming.
I have the immense privilege to join the team in their travels to harvest and share stories from the sojourn with esteemed practitioners of nature-connected human health and flourishing.

Jacksonville, Florida
Thanks to my dearest friends, the Kerr family, and pastor Susan Rogers, I received an invitation to hold sacred space with The Well at Springfield for their Church in the Wild Sunday. This will be my first time back to share my work in ecospirituality on the land currently known as America. On the autumnal equinox, we will gather on land formerly cared for by the Chatat and Muskogee peoples, and seek to reconnect with our place in the family of creation.

Hallowell, Maine
I will then head up to Maine for the The BTS Center’s Convocation to share two days of immersions in nature to contribute to their theme of Kinship: Re-Weaving the Great Web of Belonging. Many thanks to Rev. Nicole Diroff, Rev. Ash Temin, and Rev. Dr. Allen Ewing-Merrill for inviting me into the good and sacred work you are doing to heal our Climate Changed World on land sacred to the Wabanaki (Dawnland Confederacy).

Little Rock, Arkansas
Oh, and then my friends, a dream with many, many months of work is coming true when I head to Little Rock to co-host with Rachel Pinto, Our Sacred Nature Retreat with and for queer folx in the American south.

Over the course of the weekend, on land originally the home of the Osage Nation, we will engage in gentle outdoor activities such as forest bathing, labyrinth walks, yoga, and sound baths to nourish deep kinship with our innermost truth, other humans, and the more-than-human world. While we will weave spirituality into the practices, we are wide open as to what that means for everyone and welcome a multiplicity of understandings, traditions, and paths. It is our hope that the connections we make will breathe new life into our individual and shared human experiences and how we embrace our sacred nature. 

Atlanta, Georgia
I will return to Muskogee land to wrap up my time in the States in Atlanta to refill my bucket of delight visiting the jewel of my heart, my daughter, Farmer Z. I will also get to hug the necks of friends who have been and still are essential to who I am in this weird and wonderful world. Susannah, Kate, Leah – I’m looking at y’all!

 

If you’d like to see photos from the journey, you can follow the shenanigans as they unfold on Instagram @seekingsophia, @qsacrednature and @natureandforesttherapy.

And for real…

Hazel
Author: Hazel