As I began this article, I became overwhelmed. My subject matter, Ellie Sparks, is a wise woman whose brilliance and expertise carries a fiery torch of Truth across a wide range of arenas. Ellie is a mother, wife, storyteller, farmer, philosopher and political activist. Hers is the life of old, where people were not regimented into standardized living styles and pigeon holed into career titles, diagnostic categories, racial divides, or any of the other human built coffins that we place ourselves into.
Ellie is not a woman to be boxed in. Corporate coffins highlighting "one size fits all" are not her forte! Her fleshed out riches radiate all the colors of the rainbow, yet they all meld into one light that enlightens this entire planet. May her radiating and enveloping love touch the heart of those reading this article.
The foundations of all our lives incorporate the stories we tell ourselves. In my opinion, we are in an ecological mess due to the stories we have been indoctrinated with. What are our cultural stories? They include that we are the "Kings" of the planet and the world is a resource for us to use for profit. This myth is the first nail securing the lid to our corporate coffin.
Though she doesn't ask the same question as I just did, Ellie answers it by telling new stories whose heroes sustain and increase rather than deplete the earth's gifts to humanity. What do we tell ourselves about our environment? What are the stories that describe and determine how we relate to each other, the corporations, and the government? Perhaps we should try on new shoes! Shoes that will help us to spring into life and out of that metallic coffin we have put ourselves in. Thus I allowed myself the above poetic introduction of this woman. It is time to change the stories of how we relate.
According to Ellie, stories connect us to our children and them to the world. Some stories have a beginning, middle and end, but not always! Everyday conversations are a type of story too, according to her. And when you talk about your child's world, it sparks her interest! According to Ellie, the child is learning how to take a small thought and build on it. She's learning how to have a conversation and she's building her vocabulary. Storytelling not only teaches her new words, but it also teaches her how to listen and pay attention.
Ellie also provides stories that help to educate children about the environment. Her children's stories, available from her in manuscript form, are "Papa, Tell Me a Story" about the time Earth very nearly lost her people and "If You Ask Your Congressman to Be a Climate Hero." Ellie's stories also connect herself to her own inner strength and wisdom, affirming herself as a climate hero when she gets discouraged by the intransigence of those who promulgate the outworn cultural stories. Moreover, she understands that the story that we tell by example, rather than by words, is a great teacher. Thus she has begun work on Sacred Foods Farm.
I would take her ideas regarding storytelling further by saying that the stories we tell and live serve as the foundation for how a child sees her world. Our children are educated in line with a corporate and mechanisitic system. Yet, the term "education" in its original Greek form meant "to unfold." In this sense, education is a synonym for evolution, which entails the unfolding of a potential inherent in an individual or a species. The point is, education is about unfolding potential and not indoctrination. In the corporate schools of our culture, we strive for the latter and not the former.
If we think about the stories we have been indoctrinated with, we believe that we are the "Kings" of this planet and that we can have unlimited growth through the manipulation of the planet's resources. This has been revealed as a lie, as reflected in reports regarding the escalating extinction rates that I have reported on in past articles. Many would dispute me regarding our not being Kings of the planet.
Personally, I think whales, dolphins and perhaps even ferrets have one over us. I don't see them destroying the ecology in which they live. Thus, we may not be the epitome of evolutionary unfolding if not destroying the ecology of where you live were identified as a sign of intelligence. Ellie points out also that insects, including the black widow spiders that are overrunning her Richmond, Virginia neighborhood, may end up becoming the climate victors, because they reproduce generations fast enough to adapt to climate change.
Watching our brothers and sisters in the wild, perhaps we can begin to cultivate a new story that we are cells in the planetary ecology and are here to support all of life? What animal would you listen to? How would we tell the new story to our children?
For starters, you may get a better understanding of Nature by researching the Gaia Hypothesis while also looking at ancient myths regarding Nature. But, even in the face of well documented research leading to the Gaia Hypothesis, we remain stuck in a divisional mindset. Thus, due to our conditioning, many of us are unable to question the stories we tell ourselves. Remaining stuck in our conditioning, it is hard for us to generate another story because we think the story we currently tell ourselves is Absolute Truth.
The story we are living is not Truth. It is worse than a fictional story, for fiction, at its best, points towards deeper truth than the surface facts reveal. Ours is an outright lie. It is a falsehood that defines and determines how we interact with the world and, in turn, determines the consequences that return to us. The environment that we are turning into a wasteland is simply a mirror to the wasteland of our minds that houses and creates the wasteland we call Nature.
Yes, Nature means Essence and She definitely reflects us there. What we see outside of ourselves mirrors what is within. Desertification that is spreading like a plague upon the planet reflects desertification of our souls. We have created a wasteland that mirrors the death of the Creative Psyche inherent in each one of us.
Yet, it is through storytelling that Ellie is helping to "Father" a new living world. An organic world! This new world will come about only when WE change, not when George Bush Sr, Dick Cheney or Obama declares it! Their declarations are reflective of our death. This is my personal belief and I'm not ascribing it to Ellie. Indeed, she's a bit "kinder" to the politicians than I am and has more faith in them. Yet, I see her work as being seminal to the arising of a new ethos and way of life. This is why I fall to my knees in loving adoration of the work she does.
Ellie is supportive of The Weston A. Price Foundation which disseminates the research of nutritionist Dr. Weston Price, who studied isolated non-industrialized peoples to establish the parameters of human health and determined the optimum characteristics of human diets. His research demonstrated that humans achieve perfect physical form and perfect health when they consume nutrient-dense whole foods and the vital fat-soluble activators found exclusively in animal fats. For Ellie, this information was a life-saver. She had become unable to walk across a room because of rheumatoid arthritis until Price's research reaffirmed the native nutritional wisdom of our ancestors.
The Price Foundation is not without critiques. As it should be! Joel Fuhrman MD wrote a series of articles entitled "The truth about the Weston Price Foundation" in which he argues the Foundation is a purveyor of "nutritional myths", largely because they have failed to update their recommendations in light of contradictory evidence. Stephen Barrett MD says the Weston A. Price Foundation promotes "questionable dietary strategies" and on grounds that the core assumptions of Weston Price's original work are incorrect and contrary to contemporary medical understanding. The Foundation has written a rebuttal to Barrett's essay.