Biocouncil story


easy in come free

Biocouncil’s Process & Decision:

Leonor, our Venezuelan troubador led us through a deft Visioning process. Going back to Mother Earth’s wisdom through a context/space dimension & a people/culture dimension, she cut up and merged until we arrived at one unified council vision. I loved this exercise that approximated a similar process I fall into when speaking with the Nature beings themselves. The starts and stops, refer me forward with gravest questions. I chuckle when St Vrain River asks me to watch what it does, pointing to its intricate complex moves, and “see there fixed at the edge so still under ice while currents rush me, over cowardice-of-convenience boulders park designers imposed on me”, then asks me a riddle & gets me conferring with spider in the railings.  River directs like an exasperated parent, “go ask spider”. Manipulated, water knows its limits, how to heal itself instantly, when to move me on through a healing chorus. 

And so we trusted our deepest sensations to Leonor our wonder songstress, to coach us out of the rational mind, feel our core, where, what place on the planet, month, physical structure, temperature, which meeting area, what flavor, texture, type, facility, distance, energy conservation, services, diet, health/healing, spiritual comfort, and to translate these into the context/space to face core issues, who would be there in attendance awaiting, what tribes, what philosophies, spiritualities, languages, elders represented, children heard. Mother Earth would point us to the place.

Consensing can be a long process, finding our common wishes in multicolor. Mother Earth spoke organization to us. She threw me a blue-light forest seeking sun, where moss bedded stumps flanked like huge green teeth and the brook more endless than any upfront highway traffic can be, was louder in its trickle through silt, branch and rock.

It amazed me that most of us pegged the place, perhaps...Klamath. We would refine as we arrived closer. 300 was our number for Permaculture, Transition Town and related groups with stories to tell. After all, Paul Hawken’s Blessed Unrest unearthed millions in our Earth Community and David Korten’s The Great Turning turned Earth-Community from red to green, Ecuador voted in a new Constitution giving basic rights to Nature, Peter Berg was revegetating as Eco City the El Bahia de Caraquez, we were invested.

Here a snapshot: We’re loving being in this tide, vastly receding, vastly floating like a breath of unrelenting moon led-motion.  From RFP’s to this.

Our first RFP (request for proposal) came from a magic place called Wisteria in Ohio, yet we soon received two more RFP’s, from similarly sized 80-ish-acre Ecology/ Permaculture education centers saved from intruding development, offering cornucopias of nourishment, nourishers, nourishees. Seven of our nine members caravanned in by train, plane, bus, van and finally foot, one from the jungles of Cancun detained by customs. We arrived at the first site, Lost Valley, peopled by young folks eager to save the place from a difficult fate, giving it their keen sense of palette and palate on a more developed parcel with indoor facilities, awesome gardens and hot compost pile ten yards strong. When we traversed the no-rails wood bridge through silver wind-arching fronds we let that spanish-moss cascade to frame our heads like ancient hair, greeting moss magic sticks like soft-head drumbeat characters along stream footpaths. They seemed be-wilded. In the 70’s my partner’s wild welcome of nature had become part of me, a city girl. I still ooze snapshots & eyeshots of wild. 

The second site some hours further south, Klamath-Siskiyou bordering Shasta bioregion that most know as Northern California/Oregon border, was enchanted by whirling spirits that made the cabin spin and speak at night. It was peopled by elders long-rooted there. We were treated to sumptuous cuisine, feast of friends, ready-to-go team and their stories. Few permanent structures had us imagining outdoor kitchen, tents along huge resting fields between forested steeps and pure sounds of Birch Creek. Here was less crutch of civilized culture. After we took off, pit-stop in Jacksonville where drinking water went single-stream non-stop-public from a spiggot. Our first thought, first pick was all with Chant and Bahaar’s wilder elderness, feeling their roots and magic would give us a challenging but everlasting experience for Bioregional Reinhabitation. A Jump into home.

Yet it took long weeks of re-visiting our visioning individually with the sites.  Biocouncil was again countries apart, teleconferencing.

Memory mixed with photos and recommendations, brought the two sites closer than we had expressed on our exit, back in the Asian restaurant where first impressions overwhelmed us favoring Birch Creek roots.


A McLuhan Mosaic shifted. Word emerged that the younger group was in upheaval. Their education center had turned over their board, and leaders with powers to stage a Congress had changed. The first group was no longer possible. Birch Creek had plans for 2012 to stage a huge Harmonic Convergence leaving us with August 2011, only eight months away.

The ‘when’ took over: should it happen 2011 or 2012? Should we instead call a summit for elders of the past, then stage the Congress at a later date? Or could our small group reach out for mutual support to hold energy through a 2011  Congress? What funds could we raise immediately? Within eight months? We filled out monthly budgets, monthly roles and responsibilities for each of us, each item with past templates foreshortened and redesigned. We met by conference call in sub groups, finance, site, fundraising, communication, outreach, program, biocurriculum, web-management, elder circle, and sent out digest task notes, estimating where our energies would be needed and when. Brilliant momentum set in. Our hosting site joined the brainstorming and planning. We announced CBCXI would be held August 19-27th at the Birch Creek Arts & Ecology Center, a wildlife refuge, leaving time to get to Burning Man. Birch Creek is more than enthused, widely wildly checking in, making links, designing pre-event booths…

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