Saturday, January 10, 2009

Home, Place, And Love

Full Moon in Cancer today, so that made it a perfect time for a house blessing for one of the women in my circle who's gone through a complete home renovation on Capitol Hill over the past year and a half. For many witches, home, a sense of place, a sanctuary, is important. And, I'm reading Derrick Jensen's interview with the philosopher Kathleen Dean Moore, who has quite a bit to say about the importance of "Place" in our lives:

Jensen: So what is the basis of our obligation to rives and marshes, if its not maximizing their instrumental value?

Moore: Obligations grow out of relationships, the philosophe
r Nel Noddings pointed out. She's right: we know what it means to care, and we value that. Just as we are connected to our families, and care about them, we are connected to the land, both emotionally and biologically. This is the starting premise: We are all members of a natural community of interdependent parts that includes rivers and wrens and children and stones. The relationships define us, sustain us, create us, full us with joy. And when we find ourselves alone and apart, our unhappiness becomes a longing close to grief.

If this is so, then to lead a moral life we have to acknowledge the depths and complexity of our ties to the natural communities [of which we are members], and acknowledge our own experience of caring -- acknowledge the value we place on caring -- and make a commitment to acts that flow out of love.
Aldo Leopold says, "Sing our love for the land and our obligation to it, " and I am struck by how quickly obligation follows on the heels of love.

What is called for are not just acts of enlightened self-interest, but acts that flow from our connections and acknowledge the worth of what we care for so deeply. A right act isn't the one that makes us happiest. A right act is one that strengthens and reknits the web of relationships, and so it tends, as Aldo Leopold said, "to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty" of the community.

~From How Shall I Live My Life: On Liberating the Earth from Civilization by Derrick Jensen

What is your home trying to tell you? Your yard? Your neighborhood? Your wateshed? What is your obligation to listen?

~Picture found here.


Anne Johnson said...

on weekends i love waking up and looking out at the trees around the pond near my house. They are so tall that Great Horned Owls nest in them. Considering where I live, I feel blessed to be in such proximity to so many lovely trees.

Aquila ka Hecate said...

I've just finished that very same book!

"My" land gives off waves of Love, perhaps surprisingly.

It often gently restrains me from getting too hectic about control over it.
Terri in Joburg