Introductions Are In Order!

Zemirah Jazwierska
Hello everyone! Rev. Zemirah here and I am so very honored and excited to be invited by Rev. Simon to contribute to the Sacred Earth Ministry and to become involved in the events, meetings and inspiration of this group!

Here’s a little about myself related to Sacred Earth, what draws me to this ministry, and its expansion in the world. I grew up on a small 90-acre farm in rural west central Illinois. My farmhouse has been (and still is) in the family since it was built in the late 1800’s. As a child, the forest surrounding our fields of seed corn and soybeans was my home. I can remember rushing home off the school bus to change my clothes and run out to have a snack while sitting by the creek (or “crick” as we called it) to dangle my toes in the fresh water or to squish through the mud barefoot.

My childhood was a little like Little House on the Prairie in that the closest neighbors were miles away and agriculture was in my family, both maternal and paternal sides, for generations. In many ways, connecting with nature was my spiritual practice, my sense of recreation, and a key part of my upbringing. We would boil maple syrup in the winter and carry it out back to pour upon the snow and eat it with spoons! Canning fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, green beans, pickled cucumbers, peaches, applesauce, and cherries was a key food supply that lasted all winter long. In the spring our whole family would gather on an expedition into the forest to search for mushrooms amongst the wild flowers. My grandma would then fry up those treasured beefsteak mushrooms in a puddle of butter so we could feast on them that night for dinner. In late summer we would pull up a chair at sunset to sit around my great-grandmother's porch to wait for the moonflowers to unfold their amazingly fragrant blooms.

Being in nature was a key part of my development as a kid, and was especially influential in beginning my spiritual quest as an adult. I raised my two daughters hiking, back country skiing and would sometimes pitch a tent in the middle of a forest service road, off the beaten path. My spiritual pilgrimages as an adult have been to find those places on earth that hold sacred energy that supports connecting with the Divine. I just recently returned from Scotland where we traveled to a couple of standing stone circles, way beyond where the tour buses frequent. Just this past weekend I spent time getting lost amongst the micro world of frost upon the leaves in Vail. Time stands still in those moments.

One of my favorite teachers in Celtic spirituality is the late Father John O’ Donohue. He teaches that in ancient world of the Celts, the Druids were the spiritual leaders that mediated the unknown for people. They believed that the world is made of deep elemental powers, and that the elements are personal and when we inhabit the atmosphere of our souls, we awaken to the world where nature is deeply intimate.

For me, nature awakens the wonder within and guides me back to my soul. Wonder is a key to receiving nature’s infinite gifts and transforms my perspective to see the subtle brilliance of the sacred in the midst of the mundane. In Father O’ Donohue’s words, “When you lose your sense of wonder then you no longer live in the sacramental majesty of the world. Nature is no longer a presence but a thing.” I love being in nature so much because it has the power to transform and shift my view from the surface level material world into a depth of knowing Spirit infuses all I see and experience, both known and unknown.

I am excited to be offering a monthly column, Global Roots, in this newsletter considering how the sacred earth is honored in various faith traditions (both ancient and modern) around the world. Some writings will come from my own personal experience and travels and others will be inspired through media, research and sharing's from those who practice in these traditions. I am so very excited to be a part of the continued unfolding and expansion of this group which contributes so much to deepening the collective consciousness around seeing Earth as our sacred life-sustaining home.

Much love,
Rev. Zemirah