We are surrounded by our people. It is our responsibility to learn how to see them.
It is one of the many toxic inheritances we receive from Western Culture – from the system some call Patriarchy – that we are taught to orphan ourselves from the wild world around us; to imagine we are above it, removed from it, and inconsequential to it. It is an inevitable consequence, just one small step from here, that we learn to silence, denigrate, and mistrust the wild within us. In this place of sequestration from the very Earth that makes our lives possible, we forget that the Northern Green Frog is our kin, our responsibility and our teacher.
This orphaning is not a linear proposition. It spirals in and around, back on itself until we are simply awash in the belief that we are separate, that we are the *civilized species*, the intelligent ones. Our capacity to cause harm in our orphaned ignorance is well documented at this point.
The Verdant Collective is one place where we un-orphan ourselves and wise up. Surrounded by our sisters, acknowledging our grief, our fierce longing and our rage, we remove the inherited blinders to witness our wild kin, alive and well around us. Then, if we dare, we begin to welcome the wild within us, coaxing her out of hiding, to stretch her wings, her webbed feet, her long canine legs (whatever she is, however she shows up). Here we are wildly wise, resiliently impervious to the small stories of the orphaning. Here we are ready to listen to, and care for, *all* our relations, as if all Life depends on us, because my friends...it most assuredly does.