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Environmental Challenges
and the Power of Women

Compiled by Circle the Earth

Round and Round We Go- War, Trees and Earth Day Musings
Redwood Mary, Executive Director of Circle the Earth

Earth Day Is around the corner. And I can’t help but think about Joni Mitchell’s lyrics from her song "Big Yellow Taxi":

“They paved paradise and put up a parking lot,
With a pink hotel, a boutique,
And a swinging hot spot.
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone?
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.
They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum.
And they charged all the people
A dollar and a half just to see 'em.
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone?
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” 1

I was recently sitting in a friend’s lovely backyard garden in the flatlands of Berkeley. I was talking about how do I make a living—as in right livelihood-- in this hyped up world bent on consumerism, with an endless war going on and a mortgage meltdown that beats the greed-based downfall of Enron. Behind the fence in the next yard, we heard a chainsaw going---buzzzzzzzz—an awful sound. I suggested it might me someone trimming their hedges...chainsaws in this city? Well the next thing I knew- C-R-A-S-H!! This tall beautiful tree- one of the few still around in that neighborhood- down!

I have had my share of witnessing the clear-cutting of our beloved Redwoods in Redwood Country on the Mendocino Coast of Northern California. I walked amongst freshly cut stumps in what is left of the dwindling forests of Santa Cruz, California. I helped stand against cutting the Bellwood Tree and other ficus trees in Brentwood California that an amazing group of Los Angeles locals managed to save. Now that I live here in Berkeley, I have watched trees go down for buildings, buildings and more buildings. The buildings that are being built now stand higher than Redwoods.

And since the winter solstice of 2006 I had joined several hundred members of my community here in Berkeley to “Save the Oaks” at the Memorial Oak Grove that the University of Berkeley wants to chop down (that is a whole other story!) to build a High Performance Sports Center that can be cited elsewhere, and I did my turn sitting high above the ground in the trees to protect them. With over 150 tree sitters taking their turns, this is now the longest urban tree sit of resistance and free speech in history! Despite a City of Berkeley Ordinance voted upon by the citizens and signed into law to protect our Oaks Trees—the University has decided that our local laws do not apply to them-- a public State University financed by taxpayer dollars. Go figure!2

We have conflicts the world over, over natural resources. But is seems that the ones we have most control over are those right in front of us- here in our neighborhoods, right here at home.

It has been an amazing experience to watch all kinds of people, from all walks of life, all ages and shapes and colors, rally around this cause while we await the City of Berkeley’s and three other lawsuits against the University wind its way thru the courts. And to see courageous women and men – all ages stand up for something that is precious to them – an irreplaceable eco-system- a grove of 80 native trees (Coast Live Oaks, Redwoods, Cedars, etc.) that has become a symbol of something precious that many of us are standing up for on this planet—the right for nature to exist—to save something for the next generation.

Earth Day? Why once a year? Hmmn?

I have had several Native American Elders tell me in the last few years that it is Women’s Time… it will be the women who will lead.

There is a Native American legend about the birth of a white buffalo that signals the return of the goddess. The White Buffalo Calf Woman Lakota myth marks the return of the feminine archetype in the end time’s evolution of consciousness. Hopi prophecy is that the Earth is going to soon go through a great purification and that humanity can make the decision as to how extreme this purification will be. The belief is that the world is going through a period of destruction and renewal and that we are about to enter into a new age.

It is also prophesized that the exile of the Divine Feminine will be over, and the out of balance war and destruction and the pursuits of greed and technology for the sake of profit that has brought nothing but misery for most of the world will be replaced by a return of consciousness to what really matters—like the survival of our planet.

Paula Gunn Allen3, Laguna Pueblo/Sioux poet, novelist & scholar tells us that “the earth is the source and being of the people and we are equally the being of the earth. The land is not really a place separate from ourselves, where we act out the drama of our isolate destinies...” 2 The denial of the feminine as partner and friend has robbed us of ecstasy. The wounded male4, seeks his lost ecstasy in all the wrong places-violence, power, materialism. The returning of the Divine Feminine is about all of us – female and male healing and returning to a consciousness that life on earth is inseparable from our own survival. War and greed and macho is obsolete. It does not serve anyone anymore and is bringing us down to our knees in humility.

Doctors' pills give you brand new ills
And the bills bury you like an avalanche
And lawyers haven't been this popular
Since Robespierre slaughtered half of France!
And Indian chiefs with their old beliefs know
The balance is undone-crazy ions-
You can feel it out in traffic;
Everyone hates everyone!
And the gas leaks
And the oil spills
And sex sells everything
And sex kills ...
- Lyrics by Joni Mitchell, “Sex Kills” from her album Turbulent Indigo5.

Ah! So Is the Sky Falling? No it is a tree! And maybe a Hurricane or tornado!The call to us women to take leadership together now is even louder, the stakes are incredibly higher and are we up for the challenge? Turn off American Idol—for the real heroines are sitting all around you-including you!

“Well, there's no time for doubt right nowand less time to explain.So get back on your horses,kiss my ring, and join our next campaign.” 6

Here are a few songs (you can download or play off the internet) by some wonderful women singers- songwriters and advocates for the environment to inspire you as you plan within your communities your courageous acts of awakening to the Divine Feminine. Bring them to your town to inspire others!

Katrina by Sharon Abreuhttp://www.sharmuse.com/sharmuse/katrina.html 7

Living Planet by Emma’s Revolution:http://www.emmasrevolution.com/music.cfm?area=roots8

Mighty Redwood by Hali Hammerhttp://www.halihammer.com/gypsy-o.html9


1. Joni Mitchell~Big Yellow Taxi ORIGINAL LYRICS© 1966-69 Siquomb Publishing Co. BMI
2. http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2007-11-27/article/28556?status=301
3. http://www.nativewiki.org/Paula_Gunn_Allen
4. Margaret Starbird http://www.beliefnet.com/story/134/story_13494_1.html
5. http://jonimitchell.com/
6. “Empire” Lyrics and Music by Dar Williams http://www.darwilliams.com/
7. Sharon Abreu http://www.sharmuse.com/sharmuse/ email: [email protected]
8. Emmas Revolution email: [email protected]http://www.emmasrevolution.com/index.cfm
9. Mighty Redwood by Hali Hammerhttp://www.halihammer.com/gypsy-o.html


By Redwood Mary, Executive Director, Circle The Earth - Grassroots Women Taking Action for a Sustainable Future - A Project of the Agape Foundation

TO SUPPORT OUR WORK: http://www.circletheearth.netfirms.com/SupportOurWork.htm

P.O. Box 14146
Berkeley CA 94712

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