I dream of a resting place.
Systems are crumbling.
The powers are wreaking havoc.
The climate is in crisis.
It is enough to make you weep.
Enough to make you scream.
It is enough for bodies to fall down in exhaustion.
Fall down here. Rest here.
Let this be a place where we can breathe, heal, and hold one another.
Let the stones receive our silence, our tears, our laughter, and our singing.
I dream about the land.
Wondering what she is whispering to our spirits?
How can we learn from this ridge in a time of climate change?
I dream of environmental justice organizing,
retreats on eco-spirituality and the wilderness prophets,
skill training on canning, permaculture, foraging, and cob building.
I dream of composting toilets, solar power, and pizza ovens.
I dream of a garden overflowing with tomatoes and basil.
A garden that feeds the kitchens,
where the land gets inside of us.
I dream of a place that lights the imagination,
that takes craft seriously.
Crafting is a form of resistance,
an act of soul tending,
a form of ancestry remembrance,
and practical survival skills.
Come make pottery, carve spoons, stitch quilts, and weave baskets.
I dream of an intentional community.
Beloveds who live on this land
and lean into a vocation of hospitality.
Sharing rhythms of work, spirituality, and play
connected with the wider local community.
I dream of a place that is always gathering circles
to discern the signs of the time.
In Grace Lee Boggs’ words, “What time is it on the clock of the world?”
How do we respond? How do we resist?
How do we tend to our souls?
I dream of a place where actions are imagined,
and resistance is embodied.
A place where we ask what does the spirit of
“picket and pray” mean right now?
I dream of an intergenerational landscape,
where the children and elders are our teachers.
A place that takes young folks’ dreams seriously.
But also where we can hold one another in old age,
love one another,
and ask what it means to die well.
I dream of a place that will continue to welcome LGBTQ folks
and tell the amazing history that has happened here,
that will honor queer voices at the forefront of theology.
I dream of a place that does the hard and crucial work of racial justice,
internally within the organization and in our wider work,
a space that can nurture racial healing.
I dream about ways to fall more in love with the little patch of earth
to be quiet among the trees,
to be in relationship with the toads and the snakes and the deer.
I want to hide swings and benches deep in the forest.
I want to build an outdoor chapel tucked away in the stones.
I dream of singing and stories,
bonfires and sledding,
instruments playing and bread breaking.
I dream of births and deaths
and all the ordinary that lies between.
More than anything, I mean
to stay awake
and to love this land.
Bio: Lydia Wylie-Kellermann is a mother, activist and writer formed in Detroit. She is the editor of Geez Magazine. Over the summer, she and her family left Detroit to be the director and caretakers of Kirkridge Retreat and Study Center. She wrote this poem about the dreams she holds for Kirkridge that called her to move to the mountains. Lydia, Erinn, Isaac and Cedar now have two homes: one on a ridge in the Appalachian Mountains and another along the banks of the Detroit River.