I write this blog in a little cabin at Buckhorn Camp, in the mountains behind Fort Collins, Colorado. I'm here attending the annual Wilderness Guides Council Gathering. This year I've been part of the group who organized and coordinated the event, and we've put up banners, compiled welcome packets and set up our center altar space. Right now, people are beginning to arrive, and I can feel the beginning of that inexplicable wild magic that is conjured in this group when we come together.
The Wilderness Guides Council has been gathering annually for a couple of decades or more. We have gone through several cycles of breakdown and re-birth, always asking "Does it still serve for us to gather as we have been?" "Who are we now as a group?" and "What is the Shadow in the group that needs speaking?" It comes back to the unifying thread that runs through all we do: strong love for the earth, and a desire to be of service to our people in the world through earth-based rites of passage and associated modalities. We all know that we all know the mystery and wisdom that can be accessed by listening deeply. We all know we are nature. And we love each other for that.
We are a group of people who have learned the art of functional, healthy community through hard work and experience. I've heard people in the group say many times that we are a group of people who hate being part of a group; a bunch of individualists, introverts and fringy evolutionaries (which describes more people than you'd think . . . like maybe you?). I believe we are practicing the art of evolutionary community.
The art of evolutionary community: how to foster a group culture that honors and encourages individuality and how to make room for the inevitable friction that comes with difference; how to weave deep, open-hearted, authentic connection; how to repair relationships, to lean into fear, to really see each other, and to celebrate with full-bodied, uninhibited joy! It requires maturity on the part of each individual. It requires knowing when we're projecting, being willing to accept responsibility, and to have an open and vulnerable heart.
I am nourished in the loving arms of this community unlike anywhere else. I am nourished in a way that I never even know I was missing before I found these people. I am stronger, more alive, more human because of this loose community that gathers once a year.
What would our culture be like if people who make up corporations, cities, banks, government and schools were well versed in how to be together with their souls showing, with an ability to listen deeply to all that is said and to that which is unsaid, to see each other as other bits of spirit in a different physical form? And to work through conflict by taking deep responsibility and mustering deep compassion? Not that they have to be in that place all the time, but that they understand this is a dimension of being together that they can access and employ when needed. How would our world and culture shift?
Well, it would be amazing, I think! Don't you???