Seven Generations and Counting:  Exploring Sustainability


Call for Submissions

Before First Contact—the arrival of Europeans on these once pristine shores—the original human inhabitants of the Americas were careful guardians of the land, waters, and nonhuman others with whom they shared this continent—not through a sense of guilt or the threat of reprisal from some higher power—but because they recognized the extent of human dependence on right relationship with all other life forms.  As the First People supported life, life supported them.

Patriarchal traditions, on the other hand, have taught that Man has dominion over all other creatures, and his relationship with the elements of earth, air, and water is, if not outright blasphemous, far too ephemeral to exist.  Therefore, ever since First Contact, the symbiotic relationship between humans and our environment has suffered.  Now more than ever before—in  the widespread, shocking treatment of the environment, vulnerable humans, and nonhuman others—we see the devastating results of such androcentric, hierarchical thinking.

This issue of Four Winds Journal explores some of sustainability’s many facets.  We move beyond simplistic definitions and limited attempts at solutions to understand just what this word truly means, and in how many ways we can begin to restore right relationship with our planet.

Sustainability can only succeed when we embrace its principles in all aspects of our lives, each of which depends first on acknowledging our relationship with Spirit.  Care of our minds, bodies, environment, fellow humans and nonhuman others all derive from this first premise.

Each article, poem, and art work in this issue emphasizes a particular aspect of sustainability.  Contributing writers and artists speak to the aspect most dear to their hearts—often from extensive personal experience.  Through their eyes, you will recognize that what we call sustainability is actually a state of dynamic balance—with branches that spread much further and roots that go much deeper than you may have previously considered.  You will appreciate learning that “family” can include the blue jay at your bird feeder, the old elm tree shading your back yard, the melody of water trickling over stones in the creek behind your house.  Finally, you will discover ways in which you can enjoy and contribute to the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical well being that sustains an individual, a family, a community, and our planet itself.

The Submission Deadline for the Spring issue of the Journal is February 28, 2018.  Please visit our Submission Guidelines page for important information and send your article, poem, or artwork– and your questions– to us at:    Attention:  Editors