Whether or not you come here, let me tell you about place. Place, I have come to understand, is sacred. Here’s what one of my favorite writers, Barry Lopez author of Arctic Dreams (1986), for which he won the National Book Award for Nonfiction, has to say about place:
When we enter the landscape to learn something, we are obligated, I think, to pay attention.
To approach the land as we would a person, by opening an intelligent conversation.
To stay in one place, to make that one long observation a fully dilated experience.
To give the land credit for more than we imagine.
In these ways we begin to find a home, to sense how to fit a place.
To me, a long observation is my aspiration. I hope that by living a place-based life, I can make that observation into a relationship.
Wherever you are right now, that place is sacred. May you begin or continue the intelligent conversation.
NikiAnne (she/her) was born and raised on a horse and cattle ranch on the ancestral lands of the Salinan people in the Central Coast of California. She currently lives at Earthaven Ecovillage on unceded lands of the Catawba and Cherokee (Tsalagi) people. Her ancestors come from Eastern and Western Europe — France, Germany, and English Isles as well as Belarus, Lithuania, and Russia, from Ashkenazi Jewish heritage.
Throughout the last two decades, NikiAnne has been immersed in community and in service to a wide range of educational endeavors focused on nature connection, personal empowerment, and community resilience. NikiAnne considers herself the grease and glue – that which helps things run smoothly or holds things together. Before co-founding SOIL in 2012, she worked and traveled through much of Asia, the Americas, and Europe, which made her formal education at George Washington University in International Affairs come alive in ways that can only happen through personal experience and relationships. Collectively, these experiences have undeniably shaped her cooperative cultural values and commitment to supporting leaders to think, feel, act and design from a foundation rooted in interrelationship. No matter what she’s teaching, NikiAnne is always on the same mission: to raise awareness of our whole selves – gifts, passions, blind spots, shadows – and help those whole selves find and fill niches in their communities. This is how the web of life is woven, and the fabric of culture repaired. She’s especially eager to support those in transition – between vocations, stages of life, and stories of world and self. Within this context, she is particularly passionate about community grief tending and death care midwifery.
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The tour highlights ways in which Earthaven is striving to be a holistic, sustainable culture. The introductory overview tour examines the concept of sustainability at Earthaven through social, ecological, and economic lenses. Not only will you get a glimpse of what has worked through time, but also hear about what has been challenging. And you will have a chance to ask questions!
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