Welcome to The Firefly Gathering 2020! To say that this, the 13th Firefly Gathering, has been predictable and went according to plan would be a gross understatement. We are walking in unprecedented times of planetary upheaval: a global pandemic, worldwide racial uprisings & demands for justice; climate change & extreme weather, mass distrust in our government…so much seems to be cracking & falling apart; it can be overwhelming. It sometimes can even be difficult to allow ourselves to experience joy when so many in our world are suffering right now; but I like to think of a seed, the humble beginnings to such complexity of life. The seed goes into the Earth and rests in darkness for the rain to come. It then awakens and must slowly swell to fullness and split open, disintegrating, so that new life can come forth. Such are the times we are in. The seeds of change sown by our ancestors; the prayers of all those who came before us; the songs of so many are now ringing loud & clear. Now is the time for change.
Since our 13th gathering could not become a physical reality, we offer this virtual experience of our community and connectedness to everyone. Our vision for this page is that it becomes a tool to connect our community in a time of isolation, to share our talents with each other, and to help create a social platform where we can explore, learn and grow into an even more beautiful representation of our human family. This is new ground for us, and being more oriented toward earthskills and human connection than technology, we ask that you be patient with us! Please use this as an opportunity to learn, to teach, to connect, and to gain perspectives of one another; add your classes, events, or simple self made tutorials. Humans are many things, and resilient adaptability is a hallmark feature of our species. For some, now may not feel like the right time to find an area of enjoyment in life, or to learn a new skill or way of thinking; that’s ok. We will be adding to this page all summer so that while folks stay home more, there will be opportunities to learn new skills and find means of emotional and spiritual connection.
From the Firefly family to you: we love you. We miss you. We are doing our work as an organization to be prepared to face the challenges of our times, and rise up from the ashes of 2020 into the new reality that we are collectively dreaming into existence right now. Stay strong. Stay positive. Stay grounded. Stay safe…and always, stay wild!
Message from the Director
Message from Sangoma
“Now, in the time of corona, we are seeing the necessary roles of music and healing practices in our abilities to see through this pandemic and stay steady on our course of compassion and strength,” says Chloe. “I wrote this song for a loved one going through the wave and arc of depression and anxiety, someone whom I wanted to sing a reminder to, to find her roots and footing when the wind blows strong. Mental health is a gripping mountain for so many people to climb, and this song honors that journey as well as the people who pull us up out of it. Leah adds, “‘Stand like an Oak’ is a song to remind us of our innate sturdiness and deep roots in this vital dark soil of Earth; the innate presence and stability of the Oaktree as our model and muse of calmness in the great storms.”
I just want to start by acknowledging that I know I haven’t been as active or responsive to all of my emails and other forms of communications as I usually am. I’ve been trying to still get things done and respond to folks as efficiently as possible; but I am aware I’m not as fully present as I usually am. The injustices faced by People of Color on a daily basis has been taking a toll on my mind, body and soul (on top of still trying to navigate the current pandemic situation). The recent murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hand of United States police officers, and the murder of Ahmaud Arbery at the hands of United States citizens has been weighing heavy on my mind, as well as the other lives that have been lost due to similar situations in recent years.
As a “black” man in America raising a “black” son I find it frightening, and at times hopeless, to attempt to live a normal life in this country; this country where I was born, and my parents were born, and their parents and generations before them, leading back to the times of slavery. The systematic racism that this country is running on is more apparent than ever, and it breaks my heart to realize there are some that still don’t see it or care to acknowledge it.
I have attended local protests and seen first hand the way the local authorities have responded to the citizens who they have sworn to protect. I have also seen the way agitators in the crowds have played a part in attempting to tarnish these protests. While at times things seem like they may never get better, I do have a great appreciation for the people who have reached out to me personally to check in, and to those who I have seen speaking out and showing up to battle these injustices in various ways.
When I look and see faces of all colors standing together to show the world these injustices won’t stand, it inspires me to hold on to hope and keep my faith that maybe things aren’t as dark as they may seem.
So, I want to say thank you to everybody that is invested in this fight. And I hope that you are down for the long ride, because it’s been a long one and there’s a lot of work to still be done. On behalf of myself and the Community Garden Network that I coordinate, and the Firefly Gathering, I wanted to make sure to let it be known where I stand, and let it be known that I’ll do everything in my power to fight against these injustices that I myself face as well as many others.
Thank you for your time, and I hope you are all well!
Community Equity Advocate
The Firefly Gathering
Fireflies Community Equity Advocate
Do you have a class or workshop that you feel would contribute to the Firefly Gathering Community?
We invite you to submit it for approval and we’ll add it to the class offerings!