Turtle Island is a New Earth community. The native Americans have a story about building a new world on turtle’s back, when all around was water. To explain what Turtle Island in Big Hill, Kentucky in 2017 is about, I will tell my story of coming here.
I moved to this valley in 2005, along with the other three members of my household at the time. We came to be part of an intentional community, dedicated to “living more lightly on the Earth”—by sharing, building small and efficient, to live in greater harmony with the Earth. It was a good group of people. We had good intentions, but a poor foundation, as it turned out. Over the years, it became an unpleasant place to live because of our inter-human dynamics. Everyone except me moved away and settled elsewhere.
I began to sense that my deeper commitment in moving here was to the very place itself, which was all the time bringing me into greater wholeness. I began to listen to the animals, rocks, and trees, and do what I could to empower and awaken them (such as singing and drumming). I was very lonely, having exited all my existing human communities because of dysfunction and stress. I longed desperately for community.
One day the bobcat spirit said to me: “You think community is something you have to create out of nothing. In fact, the community is already there. You just have to find your place in it.” I was baffled by this, because I did not like the foundational dynamics of any of the “communities” of people I saw around me. That is why I’d been trying to “create” a new community.
Spirit (the voice of the Oneness) began to show me that the community that is “already here,” is the community still alive in nature—in the rocks, trees, plants, water, soil, and in many animal species. It is the community that remembers its Oneness in Spirit. I could not join any existing human communities, because they were all disconnected from the Oneness. Humans have forgotten that everything is alive, and that Spirit moves in all, and so we have conducted our affairs without giving voice to other living things. This is why we cannot experience true, healthy community in the existing human world.
So while I hold the door open for other humans to exit the old world and step into the new, I am learning how to listen to the other voices. Rocks, water, eagle, trees: all speak with the voice of Spirit, from their own unique perspectives in the community. I take seriously what they tell me, because they are yet more whole and attuned than I am. I hope that more humans will come here because Spirit leads them and they are listening, and that we will rebuild human community on the unshakable foundation of the Oneness.