This last weekend, I had the opportunity to participate in a unique gathering of people. A diverse group of naturalists, trackers, and wilderness educators came together at the Walking Bear Resort in Whitefish, Montana to explore a collective spiritual question. As my friend Jon Young says, people are beginning to re-connect to nature in meaningful ways, and as a result, they often encounter a "wall of grief."
It is ironic that by encountering the profound spirituality of nature, we also begin to feel the distress of a world living in disconnection from nature. Jon organized the weekend to explore ways of healing the disconnection and grief within ourselves and within our respective communities.
Therapists and practitioners presented ways of moving through grief from a variety of healing traditions. For my part, I had the opportunity to lead a soul dance as one of several healing modalities. We gathered in a large yurt with enough room for 28 dancers.
My friend Tim Corcoran from Twin Eagles Wilderness School addressed the group.
Connecting with both new and old friends was perhaps the most meaningful part of the weekend. Will Scott and James Stark of the Regenerative Design Institute flew into Spokane, so I had the opportunity to share the drive with them. We had an instant connection that I will remember for years to come.
Kathleen and Will.
Richie Booth from the Tracks and Tales Nature School.
Graham, Richie, and Jon.
Tim Ryan is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Indian Reservation. He works to restore traditional native skills.