Winter  2017/18 Newsletter from Earthways LLC
Greetings! Amidst so much cold darkness in the world around us, things can begin to feel pretty bleak. Yet, as the theologian Thomas Fuller first wrote:
It is always darkest before the dawn. In this winter season, on the cusp of the solstice, it is necessary to ask,  what is it that is dawning within each of us ?
What is dawning within our communities?
This issue of our newsletter features sobering views of our human impact upon the planet, yet we trust it also conveys hope for sustainability and well-being. Already, here in Sonoma county we see the signs of renewal out of the ashes of recent devastation.  The natural world knows how to rebirth itself out of ruin. It always has. How about us? Can we draw inspiration from the small creatures who return to forage the burned-out hillsides, or from the shoots of grass pushing up through the blackened terrain? These are turbulent times, yet we are presented with long winter nights...

May we find the peace to rest deeply. May we dream visions of our greatest purpose, and wake to give our gift away. 

With gratitude and awe, 
The guides of Earthways LLC

by Kenny Ausubel
October 21, 2017

A friend once counseled me that any truly transformative experience is preceded by dread. We're living in dreadful times indeed. The big wheels are turning. An old order is dying -  a new one is being born.
This moment of cataclysmic breakdown is shattering open a space for transformational breakthrough. Although the outcome is deeply uncertain, there's as much cause for hope as for horror.
We're taking a collective hero's journey - a descent through the crucible of the underworld to transform human civilization and ourselves. As cultural historian Richard Tarnas puts it, "We're in a race between initiation and catastrophe."
       To
Being the Change
Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution
by Peter Kalmus

Life on 1/10th the fossil fuels turns out to be awesome.
We all want to be happy. Yet as we consume ever more in a frantic bid for happiness, global warming worsens.   Alarmed by drastic changes now occurring in the Earth's climate systems, the author, a climate scientist and suburban father of two, embarked on a journey to change his life and the world. He began by bicycling, growing food, meditating, and making other simple, fulfilling changes. Ultimately, he slashed his climate impact to under a tenth of the US average and became happier in the process.
Being the Change   explores the connections between our individual daily actions and our collective predicament. It merges science, spirituality, and practical action to develop a satisfying and appropriate response to global warming.

Unison Benediction
by May Sarton
Return to the most human,
nothing less will nourish the torn spirit,
the bewildered heart,
the angry mind:
and from the ultimate duress,
pierced with the breath of anguish,
speak of love.
Return, return to the deep sources,
nothing less will teach the stiff hands a new way to serve,
to carve into our lives the forms of tenderness
and still that ancient necessary pain preserve.
Return to the most human,
nothing less will teach the angry spirit,
the bewildered heart;
the torn mind,
to accept the whole of its duress,
and pierced with anguish...
at last, act for love.

When I Die Recompose Me
by Catrina Spade 

What if our bodies could help grow new life after we die, instead of being embalmed and buried or turned to ash? Join Katrina Spade as she discusses "recomposition" -- a system that uses the natural decomposition process to turn our deceased into life-giving soil, honoring both the earth and the departed.

Seeds and Squirrels: 
 Nature's Approach to Fire Recovery
by Melanie Parker

I 've heard a lot of questions these past few weeks about what park managers are planning to do to "re-seed" the parks after the fires. 
It's a lovely thought, but one that should be strongly advised against. Sonoma County's forests, woodlands, shrub lands and streamsides already have a plan for recovery. In fact, they've planned for this wildfire disaster for a long time. And they have bounced back from many fires over thousands of years. 

We Breathe You
By Armando Garcia-Dávila
There was a curious dusting of a talcum-like substance on
my car one morning last week.
I drove away. It flew off, disappearing into the air.
Then it came to me.
The fires.
The terrible, terrible fires reducing your homes, your towns,
even some of you into fine ash and carried on the wind
thirty, forty, fifty, miles off.
We read newspapers, see the pictures and videos, wring our
hands and pray.
My wife packed blankets, pillows, food and water.
"Paper says you can leave them at Community Market.
They'll get them to the victims."
I couldn't get into the market's driveway for the long lines of
those dropping off their boxes filled with concern and love.
Heard that I could take the items to a union hall - "We hoped
to get enough to fill a semi truckload," the man at the hall
said, "but we got that on the first day, we're sending
So many good people.