Going Full Circle – Earth Day

Going Full Circle – Earth Day 2021
By Lisa Gylsen, Director

Thinking about Earth Day has made me reflect on certain times in my life when I just felt alive. I’m sure you know what I mean. One of those times for me was when myself and three others from the UK travelled to Canada for the Rediscovery International Leadership and Outdoor Training in 2003. It was a month long adventure training with a community comprising all ages, backgrounds and nationalities. We learned from indigenous leaders who inspired that wild knowing in all of us to come to the fore. Marina Robb was also one of our UK contingent and we quickly bonded with shared interests and friendship.

The first two weeks of the training took place at Pearson College, one of the United World Colleges. The mission of the UWC movement is to “make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.” Although this was not what the training was specifically about it certainly was a theme and the essence of this seeped from the venue into us.

Earth DayWe had numerous workshops and time to interact with people doing this type of work. It was inspiring. The second part of the training was in the mountains north of
Calgary where we stayed in tepees as well as out in the open, learned indigenous skills, and had a number of sweat lodges, all of which imbedded this learning by actually experiencing it in nature.

The original remit of Rediscovery in Canada was to reconnect disaffected indigenous youth to their culture. This caught on and grew not only across Canada but across the world. Rediscovery International now seeks to empower youth of all ages to discover the world within themselves, the world between cultures and the natural world.

Circle of Life RediscoveryReturning to the UK we all participated in a couple of pilot camps in North Wales. The experience and feedback was great. Marina, upon returning home to Sussex, pondered how she could incorporate this new inspiration into a programme to make a difference in her area.

Her expertise and passion was in environmental education so she set up programmes to fill gaps in the curriculum as well as out days for youth to disconnect them from the world wide web and reconnect them with the whole wide world through nature.

I felt extremely honoured to be invited to be a Director of Circle of Life Rediscovery. I still feel lucky and inspired to maintain that directorship despite my move to Mauritius. I am currently raising my two internationally adopted girls in this multi-cultural country where nature abounds from beaches to mountains in close proximity. I often draw upon my Rediscovery experience as well as games and skills from Marina’s books in our home-schooling lifestyle.

Circle of Life Rediscovery has steadily grown and developed over the past 17 years in both its offerings as well as the myriad and tremendous number of people it has benefited. It has truly gone full circle and as such it’s philosophy is now “Transforming education, health, and family through nature.”

CAMHS, Youth and Family Woodland DaysFrom its original focus on education and youth, it has added people with disabilities and their families, disaffected communities, and now are getting significant benefits with their expertise in running programmes for mental health in nature. With a close relationship with the NHS there is increasing proof for the benefits and the opportunities to make a difference are extremely exciting.

On top of all this Marina has found time to develop The Outdoor Teacher to supplement but not replace training in nature for other practitioners.

 

The Outdoor Teacher is an excellent tool, accessible wherever you are. Numerous trainings, train the trainer, online training, highly subscribed webinars offered by highly experienced and passionate individuals make the offerings and support this company provide exceptional.

I am even more excited now than in the beginning to be a part of Circle of Life
Rediscovery and to see its impact continue to grow and inspire.

A Poem for Earth Day

 

A Poem for Earth Day

The Lost Words Blessing

 

Enter the wild with care my love,
And speak the things you see
Let new names take and root and thrive and grow
And even as you travel far from heather, crag and river
May you like the little fisher, set the stream alight with glitter
May you enter now as otter without falter into water

Look to the sky with care my love
And speak the things you see
Let new names take and root and thrive and grow
And even as you journey on past dying stars exploding
Like the gilded one in flight, leave your little gifts of light
And in the dead of night my darling, find the gleaming eye of starling
Like the little aviator, sing your heart to all dark matter

Walk through the world with care, my love
And sing the things you see
Let new names take and root and thrive and grow
And even as you stumble through machair sands eroding
Let the fern unfurl your grieving, let the heron still your breathing
Let the selkie swim you deeper, oh my little silver-seeker
Even as the hour grows bleaker, be the singer and the speaker
And in city and in forest, let the larks become your chorus
And when every hope is gone, let the raven call you home.

 


Forest School Activities Online TrainingCircle of Life Rediscovery

 

Circle of Life Rediscovery provides exciting and highly beneficial nature-centred learning and therapeutic experiences for young people, adults, and families in Sussex woodlands, along with innovative continuing professional development for the health, well being and teaching professionals who are supporting them.

Earth Day

Earth Day 2019

~ Earth ~

How beautiful you are, Earth, and how sublime!

What wisdom in your obedience to the light, and what nobility in your submission to the sun!

How seductive you are when veiled in shadow and how radiant is your face beneath the mask of darkness!

How crystalline are your songs at dawn and how marvellous are the praises sung at the hour of your twilight!

How perfect you are, Earth, and how majestic!

I have crossed your plains and climbed your mountains; I have gone down into your valleys and entered your caves.

On the plains I have discovered your dreams, on the mountains I have admired your splendid presence.

And in the valleys I have observed your tranquillity; among the rocks I have felt your firmness; in the caves I have touched your mysteries.

You who are relaxed in your strength, haughty in your modesty, humble in your arrogance, gentle in your resistance, limpid in your secrets.

I have crossed your seas, explored your rivers, and walked the banks of your streams.

I have heard Eternity speak through your ebb and flow and the ages return the echoes of your melodies over your hillsides.

And I have heard Life calling to itself in your mountain passes and along your valley slopes.

You are the tongue and lips of Eternity, the cords and fingers of Eternity, the thoughts and words of Life.

Your Spring awoke me and led me towards your forests, where your breathing exhales in the distance its sweet perfume in spirals of incense.

Your Summer invited me into your fields to be present at your labour, at the birth of your jewel-like fruits.

Your Autumn showed me, in your vineyards, your blood running like wine.

Your Winter took me into its bed where your purity broadcasts its flakes of snow.

You are fragrance when young, force when growing, magnificence in middle life, and with the ice of old age, you are crystal.

On a starry night I opened the lock-gates of my soul and went out to be at your side, with a curious and hungry heart. And I saw you looking at the stars which were smiling at you.

Then I cast off my chains and shackles, for I discovered that the lodging of the soul is your universe, that its desires grow within yours, that its peace dwells within your peace, and that its joy lies in that long hair of stars that the night spreads over your body.

One misty night, weary of idle dreaming, I went to meet you. And you appeared to me like a giant armed with furious tempests, fighting the past by means of the present, overturning the old to the advantage of the new, and letting the strong scatter the weak.

In this way, I learned that the law of Man is your law. I learned that he who does not break up his branches dried out by his own tempest will die of indifference. And he who does not rebel to make his own dead leaves fall will perish from indolence.

Immense are your gifts, Earth, and deep are your groans; long too are the languishing of your heart for your children who have been led astray by their greed on the path of their truth.

We cry out to each other, and you smile.

We go astray, and you pay the penalty for us.

We soil things, and you sanctify.

And we blaspheme, and you bless.

We sleep without ever dreaming, and you dream in your eternal wakefulness. We speak to you while piercing your breast with swords and lances, and you heal our wound-like words with the scented oil of your waters.

We sow our bones and skulls in the palm of your hand, and you make willows and cypresses grow. We store our refuse and excrement within your caves and you fill our attics and taverns. We disfigure you with our blood and you wash our hands in the Eden river. We dissect your entrails in order to extract cannon and rockets from them, and from our bones you create the lily and dew.

Earth, you are long-suffering and magnanimous.

And the Earth cries out to the soil:

“I am the womb and sepulchre and I shall remain thus until the stars fade away and the sun turns into ashes.”

Kahlil Gibran
The Eye of the Prophet
Frog, Ltd., Berkeley, 1995

Earth Day 2019

 

 

 

 

 


Polly Higgins, is leading the way for a change in law that would protect the earth – giving us Earth Right’s, in the form of ‘An International crime of Ecocide’. Ecocide is serious loss, damage or destruction of ecosystems, and includes climate or cultural damage as well as direct ecological damage.

Under ‘Earth Rights’, we all benefit when we look after and respect each other, our beloved men, women, children and earth.

What can we do to create Earth Rights?

It’s simple: all it requires is an amendment to the Rome Statute (not a whole new treaty) which is the governing document for existing international crimes and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

It’s possible: any member nation State to the International Criminal Court, no matter how small, can propose the amendment. Once tabled, it cannot be vetoed.

Sign yourself up now as an Earth Protector to help fund this law:

 

Mission Lifeforce is the campaign Polly co-launched in order to launch ecocide crime into the wider public domain. In an unprecedented step, an Earth Protectors Trust Fund was created. The fund provides for representation at the annual Assembly of the International Criminal Court for Small Island Developing States and their delegates costs.


 

Transforming education, health and family through nature.

Circle of Life RediscoveryWe provide exciting and highly beneficial nature-centred learning and therapeutic experiences for young people, adults, and families in Sussex woodlands, along with innovative continuing professional development for the health, well being and teaching professionals who are supporting them.