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Sonoma County Gazette

Turning Points: Local Calendar Publisher Reflects on the Power of Nature to Create Peace

Nov 26, 2018


For the last nine years, Leslie Curchack has published a calendar of her photographs and donated the proceeds to Daily Acts, a local nonprofit sustainability group. In the article below, Curchack reflects on the power of nature to bring people together in times of crisis. 

During the solar eclipse of August 2017, over half a million cars entered Wyoming and jammed roadsides and towns along the path of the total blackout.

Afterwards, when organizers tallied incidents of road rage, theft, or conflict, there simply were none. In the presence of the larger order and mystery we are part of, wonder and connectedness eclipsed divisions and fears. 

During the wildfires here in California last year, and in the recovery efforts since then, large amounts of people have spontaneously joined in peaceful cooperation, to help and support those who suffered from the fires. 

When reminded that larger forces of the cosmos and nature hold us in their sway, our instinct is to go for unity with others, not separation, to ensure our survival and well being as individuals and as a species. 

If it is true that species stay the same until suddenly a great deal of evolution happens in a short amount of time, then the rapid and intensifying changes in culture, technology, climate, biodiversity, water and food happening right now indicate a possible turning point in our evolution.

We are presented with many moments of choice between continuing to act out of habit, or acting from a new level that truly benefits ourselves and others.

Pema Chodrin says “Almost every moment of your life, you have a choice whether to open or close, to hold on or let go, to harden or to soften, to step up or pull backthe choice is presented again and again and again.

Every daily action and choice builds the future.

The unimaginable stretches of distance and time beyond Earth, the confounding nature of energy, the astonishing beauty of our little planet, the mystifying combination of brokenness and grace in the human spirit - these perceptions promote humility and surrender to our need for connecting with others and with Nature herself. 

In this upcoming season of holidays celebrating gratitude and miracles and transformation - I wish for all of us the courage to keep faithful to the deeper dimensions of experience and to keep our hearts open to our gifts and possibilities!           

As the author of a calendar, five years ago I took the liberty to create a new holiday.

Curchack's 2019 calendar

January 12th is Universe Day - a reminder of our true place in the grand scheme of things.

For December, some of the holidays I choose to include in my calendars are December 2 - Environmental Protection Act 1970, December 10 - Human Rights Day 1948 and December 26 - Endangered Species Act 1973.

Other unique eco holidays, as well as beautiful photos and inspirational thoughts, fill the pages of the In Love With Earth calendar.

The 2019 edition can be ordered at Profits benefit Daily Acts.


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