Awaken The Future Wheel of Sustainable Futures

Let me tell you a story, our story, to explain why the Magnitude of the wheel
above is so Monumental. I’m even calling it Apocalyptic.

[Wikipedia has a great page on “Apocalypse” including “the ultimate victory of good over evil and the end of the present age”. To me it means the cataclysmic break through into something completely unprecedented…which I believe this image represents.]

When I was a little girl, while walking across a Boston park with my Gramma, I witnessed one of the early “Love-Ins” or “Be-Ins”. It was a small gathering of young people picnicking in the grass. Just 20 or so, with a guitar or two, flowers and colorful clothing. It was an early seedling of the gatherings we continue today.

Even as a child, I could clearly see the vision: “If we only take care of each other we could live in paradise, here on earth.” Today that simple idea is still true. Isn’t that really what it’s all about? Taking care of each other and the earth…isn’t that what it would take to end the disaster we’ve created and make everything all right?

By the time I was 18, people were moving in to houses in groups – baking whole grain breads and growing gardens. I graduated high school and traveled around the country visiting communes that were springing up everywhere. In dozens of states, on both coasts and across the middle USA, I sat in circles for hours and hours with people who were talking non-stop about the new world we would build. Even hitchhiking, it was the topic on everyone’s mind…

What would we keep and what would we throw away? How could we shape a society with Love and Caring at the heart of every part of it? How would we raise our kids differently? What would growing our food be like if we were kind to both plants and animals? How would we get along, work together, get things done – without oppression, domination or the crushing of our free spirits and passionate love for life? How would we work in a global community, i.e. foreign affairs, without war?

Living so closely together pushed us into looking at how we related. In women’s circles and men’s circles, couples circles, community councils – we learned new ways to listen and talk and to respect each other.

At that time, those same conversations were going on everywhere…in Canada, all over Europe. Something magical was afoot – there was no charismatic leader driving it, it came from inside us, in the same way, far and wide.

Over the next 3-4 decades, the concepts on the wheel in the image above took form. Experiments in solar power and alternative energies were developed by people collaborating to make a world that worked better than the one we were born into. All kinds of things took shape. Gardening grew into organics grew into permaculture. High vitality foods emerged – sprouting, juicing, raw and vegan – foods that nourished our bodies, but more importantly, our minds, fertilizing these new ideas. All the parts that make up that wheel were birthed in our discussions, then cultivated and nourished, driven by the shared inspiration bursting inside us.

Today “sustainability” is on the agenda of every mayor of every city on the planet. They may have no idea what to do with it, but they’re worried about that fact, and they know they need to find out. It was our people who pushed “sustainability” up to that status. Today it continues to develop forward, lately evolving even more, into “regenerative practices”….another whole topic to explore.

And look at our gatherings! Thousands, even hundreds of thousands gather every month of the year, growing this movement forward, as the magical inspiration calls us to each other.

In 3 weeks, Awaken The Future, will take this 40 year conversation a step further. Leadership from atleast 10 festivals will be there. Hundreds of others will bring their gifts and talents, their wisdom and knowledge. Film crews from The Bloom Series will document the brainstorming sessions, and Festival Fire will collaborate with them afterward to make the news accessible.

Now look at that wheel. All of these ideas, each of these threads have come so far since those first Love-In’s in city parks. Each one taking shape, growing roots and leaves, becoming a strong presence in its own right. Today, all of these topics are familiar, we all know a lot about each of them, we understand them and have a solid idea of how they can work and how they fit into the world we are building. Today all of these pieces are coming together and have become a whole. We can see the garden. They are one big picture now, a wheel of life, the butterfly is emerging.

That my friend, is Apocalyptic, don’t you think?