Last week I spent my vacation at a wonderful gathering called Between the Worlds. One of the many things this festival celebrates is our connection with the earth. And what better place than Wisteria to celebrate that interconnectedness of life!
Wisteria is situated on 620 private and rural acres in the Allegheny mountain plateau region of the Appalachian mountain chain. Swisher Coal Company and others strip mined and lumbered the area beginning around 1959. Reclamation work was done by the state of Ohio from the mid-1980’s until the mid-1990’s. The owners and residents of Wisteria have continued that work over the last 15 years. The spectacular place not only has some great camping, festival and sacred space, it is also a permanent nature reserve. This space was marvelous for connecting with people, but also an amazing place to meditate.
What struck me about this precious land isn’t that it is perfect, clearly the damage inflicted upon it is still evident, but what is amazing is that the quiet majesty and determination of nature to heal itself is alive and clear everywhere on this land. While the land is not fully healed, it is on its way; you can feel the spirit of the land reawakening. Here you can listen to the voices of nature and add your own to the chorus. I won’t soon forget my experience there and in celebration of the Autumnal Equinox, Mabon or Balance day…here are a few images from a couple of my nature hikes to share.