When I first started eating acorns, I felt like a sheepish imposter. I intended to bond with my adopted California homeland, but the last thing I wanted to do was disrespect or appropriate Indigenous cultures. As a Jew from New York, I know I will never be indigenous to this land, but it was becoming increasingly unacceptable that I remain a tourist. The question arose: how can I form my authentic connection with the land?
About six months into my oak adventures, I had an epiphany while reading Oaks: Frame of a Civilization by William Bryant Logan. My jaw dropped at this map illustrating the distribution of oaks around the world.
It turns out that my ancestors were people of the oaks who ate acorns and honored the oaks. Perhaps your ancestors were also oak lovers; you might be shocked. If your peoples lived in the Northern temperate regions anywhere around our globe, most likely they lived among the oaks and if you go far enough back, they probably ate acorns. My Jewish ancestors ate acorns in the fertile crescent before they domesticated grains. I like to think that as my ancestors of the Jewish Diaspora spread to new homelands in Poland, Russia, Ireland, England, and New York, the oaks gave them familiar comfort.
As silly as it seems, knowing my acorn eating genetics, somehow permitted me to develop my relationship with the oak ecosystems. As this relationship deepened, it became clear that nature is color blind and doesn’t speak in Hebrew or Pomo but in a telepathic language that is the mother tongue of us all.
Yes, nature is always talking to us, but the hard part is learning how to listen. As I became more receptive, the oaks began to share their wisdom with me. Six years ago, while meditating with our sick tanoaks, they told me that their wisdom is leaving the planet. They used to be loved, celebrated and cared for. Now, they are sick with Sudden Oak Disease, lonely and feel unloved. They asked me for oak ceremonies on Mount Tam.
There are countless things I don’t know about living in balance on our Earth, but this is what I do know: If you are asked to do something by the spirits of nature, you better darn well deliver. This year marks the sixth annual Mount Tam Oak ceremony. If you feel called to deepen your authentic connection to nature please join us. Earth ceremonies are a fantastic way to increase receptivity to the living world. This year we will hold a Council of All Oak Beings a communal ritual that allows us to step aside from our human identity and speak on behalf of other life forms.
Due to permit restrictions, spaces are limited so please reserve your spot here. We would love some volunteers to help with mask making, set up, clean up, making altars, helping with music and much more.