Winter 2016 Newsletter from Earthways LLC
Greetings! Welcome to our Winter 2016 newsletter. As this lands in your in-box, we emerge from the depths of darkness and into the brighter, lengthening days of winter. We find ourselves amidst many ways to celebrate our connection to the world around us; Solstice, Kwanza, Chanukah, Christmas, New Years, etc. Our selection of topics this season is sure to interest the mind and inspire the heart. This newsletter features the following... a TED talk explaining the way trees communicate with each other; a book feature of The Hidden Life of Trees; an article looking at a unique form of protest being used to protect watersheds; two winter poems, and an exciting winter program description. We hope this season's newsletter offerings will encourage you to deepen your relationship to our natural world.  

With gratitude and awe, 
The guides of Earthways LLC

How Trees Talk to 
Each Other
A  TED talk 

"A forest is much more than what you see," says ecologist Suzanne Simard. Her 30 years of research   in Canadian forests have led to an astounding discovery - trees talk,  often and over vast distances.  Learn more about the harmonious yet complicated social lives of  trees   and prepare to see the  natural  world  with new eyes.
The Hidden Life of Trees
by Peter Wohlleben
Foreword by Tim Flannery
Are trees social beings? In this international bestseller, forester and author Peter Wohlleben convincingly makes the case that, yes, the forest is a social network. He draws on groundbreaking scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families: tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, support them as they grow, share nutrients with those who are sick or struggling, and even warn each other of impending dangers. Wohlleben also shares his deep love of woods and forests, explaining the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in his woodland. 
After learning about the complex life of trees, a walk in the woods will never be the same again. 
   More information ...  

Look It Over 
by Wendell Berry

I leave behind even
my walking stick. My knife
is in my pocket, but that 
I have forgot. I  bring 
no car, no cell phone, 
no computer, no camera, 
no CD player, no fax, no
TV, not even a book. I go 
into the woods. I sit on
a log provided at no cost. 
It is the earth I've come to, 
the earth itself, sadly
abused by the stupidity
only humans are capable of
but, as ever, itself. Free. 
A bargain! Get it while it lasts. 

Focus on the Water Protectors... 

How Standing Rock's Divestment Campaign Can Stop Future Pipelines by  Colby Devitt  
Dec 16, 2016 in YES! Magazine

As banks begin to respond, environmental movements are learning the importance of speaking clearly about the financial risks of fossil fuel investment. 

     Sasja Beslik, head of sustainable finance at Nordea, one of the largest banks in Europe, recently traveled to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on a fact-finding mission. Originally from Bosnia, Beslik has seen his share of war and says that the Oceti Sakowin Camp reminded him of a war zone.
     Beslik says Nordea's customers pressured the bank to investigate the situation. "My bank has received hundreds of emails and Facebook messages. It's like a storm that is pushing the bank in a direction that the bank then needs to act on," says Beslik. He says activism aimed at banks is common in Europe.
     But the Standing Rock movement has brought a wave of financial rabble-rousing to the United States, and Beslik is just one of many people who believe it can strengthen the greater movement for divestment from fossil fuels, which is growing quickly. In just over a year, the value of the funds and other investments committed to selling off these assets  has jumped to $5.2 trillion.
     Think of divestment as the opposite of investment. By convincing firms to sell off stocks, bonds, and other investment assets in companies involved in extracting fossil fuels, activists hope to make it more difficult for these companies to get financing.
     To prevent future projects like the Dakota Access pipeline, Beslik hopes that divestment advocates become more organized and "corporate" in their approach. "The world doesn't need more oil," he says. "The guys with good organization are the ones who win the revolution."

EARTHWAYS LLC presents- 

Daylong on the Land for Men: 
Self-generated Ceremony
March 11th, 2017

This daylong program in the beautiful woodland hills of Sonoma County is designed to inspire men to reclaim and honor ceremony in their lives.  With our rites of passage guides, and with each other we will explore our existing relationship to "self-generated" ceremony. We will witness each other in calling in an intention for cultivating sacred ritual in our lives. Together we will sit in circle for storytelling, group ceremony and quiet contemplation. Solo time will be spent walking the land, and partaking in personal ritual.  

Men of all ages, from all walks of life and spiritual traditions are welcome. No experience with ceremony, ritual, or hiking is necessary. 

Winter Solstice Chant 
by Annie Finch

Vines, leaves, roots of darkness, growing,
now you are uncurled and cover our eyes
with the edge of winter sky
leaning over us in icy stars.
Vines, leaves, roots of darkness, growing,
come with your seasons, your fullness, your end.