Moving Together: memories from camp
I was asked to write about my experience at the Our Common Home Camp, a camp of ecological conversion. The etymology of the word “conversion” refers to a circular movement that doesn’t take you somewhere but has its purpose in moving, “living this way”, around the center. “Ecology being in the center” really means “love being in the center”.
I would like to share with you some memories I have kept with great joy.
In the first evening, we were invited to express how we felt about our own ecological footstep. We didn’t use words, only our feet, a sheet of paper, some ink and pens. I remember the sense of guilt, of incapacity, fear of change. But when I saw other people’s painted sheets surrounding me in a circle, when I saw the weight was carried by us all, with these strangers from around the world, I also saw we were one, and saw that the hope coming from it was real and should be respected.
The next day we learned with a scientist that became a youtuber now called “ClimateAdam” about communicating the problem. We had to build up in small groups of three and make a video to someone we imagined.
We put ourselves in the imaginary person’s shoes, thought of what this person cared for and pursued, what scared them and gave them hope. Because we listened, we could talk back, entrust ourselves back to them. Not teach them facts and morals, nor convince them to act.
In the second day we looked at the crisis our friends from India and Peru told us about. It felt close, ours, and undoubtedly linked to our mistakes.
This day told me a lot about what means “Creation is one”, and so, what it means to be part of the world and not being in the world.
A friend and I went for a walk in the forest that surrounded the castle. Nature’s life is real, and so fragile, mortal, we share this same life with it. We are all bodies in time, existing for some reason. How have we lost sight of the fact that to keep us alive nature must give herself? How have we lost our relationship with this gift?
When we lack gratitude, we harm the world. The world as one. We do not simply affect that which is directly linked to our actions. It is impossible to ignore the cry of the land.
We lose much of life when we forget our nature, our life. We are not disembodied. And we have been missing the great beauty of being what we are.