I spent the past two weeks in Rowe, Massachusetts at Earth Activist Training with a group of 30-something other activists, Earth-lovers, and witches. Two weeks is a long time to be away from home and family, to have daily routine disrupted, to sleep in a strange bed designed for children, to be surrounded by strangers, to have little alone time. At the same time, two weeks is a short time for all of the details of permaculture design, for all of the learning and practice that need to happen. And so, it was a very full two weeks with little sleep, no down time, lots of challenges and lots of blessings.
I returned to Baltimore a changed person. My understanding of the way the natural world operates is different, my outlook a little more hopeful, my urgency to get to work much stronger. I’m more sensitive to the way my privilege informs my beliefs and words and actions, and the way those things impact people who do not share that privilege. I’m more connected and less afraid, more confident and less self-centered. Thanks to the dessert-at-every-meal practice at Rowe Conference Center, I’m also a few pounds heavier despite the constant trudging up and down the mountains.
It’s hard to say much more right now because the whole experience is still a jumbled ball lodged somewhere between my heart and my throat. It’s only been two days since I returned and much of that time has been spent nursing the old familiar post-gathering drop, sleeping, unpacking, and fumbling toward a new normal. I’m still fumbling, and forcing the words for now, but am looking forward to sharing the best, worst, most interesting, and most useful moments of the training.