Our relationship with the earth involves something more than pragmatic use, academic understanding, or aesthetic appreciation. A truly human intimacy with the earth and with the entire natural world is needed.-Thomas Berry
Stewardship is an ever-emergent process which organically emerges through contemplative practices of deep listening, intimate observation, and communion with all life within the Sanctuary of Sacred Mountain. True Stewardship beckons us to listen deeply to the story-of-place, calls us to participate in nature's sacred reciprocity. Since 2009, we’ve been deeply listening, co-imagining the Sanctuary's unique ‘story-of-place’ as it tells itself to us. We strive to abide in this deep listening, and carry many questions with us as we contemplate our participation within the ecology of the Sanctuary.
How does one encounter and engage the vitality of Earth with regenerative reverence and joy?
What resources are offered freely by the Earth here, and how can we share them?
Where are the wildest places, and how do we participate in this wildness?
How does one know what, when and how much to give?
How does one know what, when and how much to receive?
What belongs to us, and to what do we belong?
What belongs to the Earth, animals, children, water?
Where do people live and build houses?
How can we care for the water as a sacred, life-giving substance?
Where do farm animals and bees live?
Where should medicines and food be cultivated?
How does one hold, enjoy and enliven a resource while enriching it's dynamic, life giving qualities- just as nature does?
These questions, any many others, orient us within our Belonging to the Sanctuary of Sacred Mountain. The story of place that they call forth is a rich mythology, revealing itself in different ways... but this revelatory experience always asks for our intimacy. The story comes to us when we put our hands in flowing waters, cultivate gardens, breathe in the scent of peach and apple blossoms, harvest peaches, apples or wineberries, caress or carry a rock, walk quietly through forest pathways, smell pine needles, lay on a hillside to watch the stars, invite farm animals into our laps for a snuggle, or welcome wildlife into the Sanctuary’s safety and fellowship....what a blessed exchange! What if sharing with one another were always that simple, that intimate, that natural? Within the natural world, and at Sacred Mountain Sanctuary, it is.