Steps on the Pathway of Service
Today, I realised something. The way to make community is to join one. Or several.
For months now, I have been working on this series of posts, collecting and creating resources that keep our souls resilient in challenging times.
When I started, I was hoping that people would really take to the idea and start contributing their own practices, or things that have inspired them. That a community would naturally form around these ideas.
To some small extent, this has happened. When I have explicitly asked, some friends have added inspiring links and ideas to the comment boxes of my posts. And they have been gratefully received.
But very few people have shared my posts on social media, and no lively conversation has started up.
Meanwhile, though, friends of mine have become involved in protests against fracking, one of the latest and more destructive ways to obtain fossil fuel. One of them had the wonderful idea of bringing about a national ritual to protect this island from fracking. The Warrior's Call caught on and went viral on the internet. As well as the main event at Glastonbury, dozens of other rituals took place across the globe.
More activities are planned. The Warrior's Call aims to become a coalition of pagan groups that oppose fracking in Britain.
Right at the fracking front line, in the Balcombe protest this summer, fellow Druids created a sacredly held space where protesters could come and rest and recharge their spiritual batteries. This group has become known as Druids Against Fracking.
All over the country, small local groups are starting up, aiming to inform people about the global and local dangers of this extraction practice, and to organise resistance against it.
Some time ago, I realised that my idea for this collection of resources, and my dream of helping people to keep their souls resilient fits perfectly into this community of resistance. This is a real front line, where people risk injury and arrest for their love of the land. I can do something here.
What I realised today is that, if my idea is useful, this is the place where it will be proven. I need to put myself in places and situations where I can offer practical support to real people. If anything can get a conversation going, this will be it.
So I have offered my support to this cause. In the coming year, you will find me at some of the events organised by The Warrior's Call. I'll be contacting a local group close to me. And I may even be found holding sacred space for people at the front line, depending on distance and time available.
The nature of this particular cause seems to encourage coalitions of small groups to grow spontaneously. There is no big monolithic organisation that organises all actions against fracking.
This is a good thing. One large tree doesn't make a forest. It is made out of many trees, shrubs and herbs; out of animals, birds and creepy crawlies. Out of earth and wind.
In the same way, each little group has its own energy, its own things to contribute to the larger cause of opposing fracking. Together, we make a healthy green forest of resistance.
If Westacre and its web presence can be just one flowering plant in that forest, a bluebell, or even a hawthorn perhaps, that will make me very happy. As long as I, and the people who choose to join in the conversation, can make a real contribution for the protection of the land I love.
As you can see, making community is not a topic I can claim great expertise in just yet. If you have experience in this area, any tips or advice, please share them with us in the comment section below.