• Gordon MacLellan

How will you celebrate?

Celebration:Earth! how?

look at the environment around you, the places you go, the activities you do : what would you share? what would you celebrate?

Celebrate: spring flowers?

Celebration:Earth! sets out to gather a new momentum, to enable groups to find new ways to work together and for everyone: organisations, informal groups or individuals to simply celebrate this Earth around us. While our main initiative is gathering groups and building momentum towards the St Albans Cathedral event and the network that will grow out of that event (see our main page, here), we encourage anyone who wants to, to declare their own celebration!

Celebrate: your community orchard's apples?

Celebration” is almost a state of mind. A celebration is, or can be, more than just having a party and cheering a lot. “Celebration”, as we see it, suggests appreciating and enjoying the world we live in. Don’t take “celebration” for granted, it is good to plan that event (or maybe several!), to make it a really special occasion, something to savour and share.

How? Tiny lanterns in a wood?

In a series of posts over the next few weeks, we will offer suggestions for how you might create that special event to celebrate the world around us and your relationship with it. This first post sets out some starting points to think about.

For a celebration, we can take an everyday occasion and make something a bit more special of it. The moment might be your nature reserve open day, a tree planting event, the gathering of the first fruit from your community orchard or whatever. When we suggest “having a celebration”, take time to think about what this could involve.

A celebration offers a chance to step back from your usual activity and reflect upon what you have been doing, to share feelings within the group (or simply express them as an individual), maybe to plan ahead. A celebration should offer a chance for a collective smile.

In planning your celebration, a few practical suggestions follow but in essence, a celebration might contain:

time to share: successes, hopes, dreams, fears

time to reflect: time for people to pause and think about what either this event or the wider theme you are exploring means to them as individuals and to the community

time to celebrate: yes: sing, dance, laugh, eat…..

time to look ahead: plan next steps together if possible, be open to new suggestions, new ideas

How: a handmade leaf-rose?

Planning your celebration

Pause: give yourselves time to look around and think about your hopes and plans…

Achievement: what have you been doing? What has been working? What are you doing or have you done that you are proud of (things you might want to develop or change can come in later, so recognise those as well). If you are new to this, what would you like to do as your first challenge?

Where are you going to hold your celebration? The place where you have been working might be good if you are a digging, making, planting sort of group. If you are campaigners, maybe go for the sort of place you have working to support if possible

Who is this special event for? Are you creating something for your group - as a thank you perhaps for everyone’s hard work – or do you want to use this as a way of telling other people what you have been doing and invite them to join in the next stage of your plans?

What will you do – we’ll suggest a timetable for a celebratory event in a later post – but just now think about the heart of your celebration….look for something everyone can be part of – food? (picnics, feasts, cakes are all good!), a procession? Music – a song…again, future posts will suggest things you might like to try and will share activities that other people have used….

When is the best time to do this? Season? Time of day? Obvious but take time to consider….

Why: and this is probably the most important. Celebrations give us a chance to value ourselves and each other, to thank everyone involved, and to look at places we know and work in, or the habitats we have campaigned for and remind ourselves why we do all this. Use your celebration and the planning of it to simply stop. Enjoy the bumblebees (insert appropriate species, landscape, geological feature!)

Write it down – use these notes as starting points and have a chatty session scribbling on big sheets of paper

Next: giving your celebration a shape…..

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