Lucille's Regenerative Memorials - a cooperative effort fostered by Extinction Witness and Pollinator Posse to honor mothers of all walks for everyone’s benefit.
Lucille’s Regenerative Memorials are common grounds designated with respect for chronic grief. The Memorials may be small plots in community gardens, verges, fields, groves in city parks, or groves in public or private forest. The Memorials are united by intent to encourage public displays of grief while supporting the human grieving process within the context of life’s complete cycle of birth, decay, death, and birth. In addition to providing areas for quiet reflection and mourning ritual both free of and of any religious doctrine, Lucille’s Regenerative Memorials can provide edibles free for harvest without monetary exchange.
Lucille means light. Lucille’s Regenerative Memorials carry the intention to shed the light of love that endures and is only fully experienced through loss. The Regenerative Memorials are named thus in honor of two mothers, Lucille Rocha and Lucille Bertuccio. See Origins below for more.
Cardinal Regenerative Memorial: Lu’s Memorial Pollinator Garden, Lake Merritt Wildlife Refuge, Oakland, CA
Lu’s Memorial Pollinator Garden in Lake Merritt Wildlife Refuge, Oakland, California is officially recognized as the cardinal Regenerative Memorial with intent to carry Lucille Rocha’s legacy in living memorials worldwide. This designation and Lucille’s Regenerative Memorials ongoing are a joint effort of Pollinator Posse and Extinction Witness aligned with Lost Species Day, November 30th - a global movement honoring extinct species while encouraging endangered species to remain and thrive.
This is an open and ongoing invitation for individuals and groups to designate Lucille’s Regenerative Memorials for and within their communities. There’s also request, not requirement, that Pollinator Posse, Extinction Witness, and Lost Species Day be acknowledged along with other participating groups and individuals directly related to the Regenerative Memorials.
Extinction Witness is devoted to supporting Regenerative Memorials financially and to maintaining an online global map of Lucille’s Regenerative Memorials. It’s anticipated that Lucille’s Regenerative Memorials will carry names of those honored locally with Lucille’s Regenerative Memorials serving as a container or womb that nourishes the intention of each as one.
Please be in touch if there’s desire to establish and/or designate a Regenerative Memorial for your community and are in need of financial support to do so. As well, please let us know if you do establish/designate a Regenerative Memorial and wish to be included in Lucille’s circle so this can be added to the map!
Species memorials have been the ground of Extinction Witness from the beginning when, at the close of 2011, intent to share a multimedia performance memorial to cetaceans produced by writer and creative director Megan Hollingsworth seeded the project. Impulse to promote The Whale Memorial Dance online evolved quickly into Extinction Witness as Megan discovered other memorials to extinct and endangered species along with a flood of dialogue and activity in response to mass species extinction.
As Extinction Witness project focus evolved in 2012, intent to support the human emotional and spiritual response to species extinction was suddenly informed by Megan’s personal grief response to the 1850’s cutting of ‘Discovery Tree’, a giant sequoia, in what is now the North Grove of Calaveras Big Trees State Park, California. Much of 2013 was spent exploring possibilities for establishing a more reverent presence and approach to ‘Discovery Tree’ and the entirety of the North Grove of Calaveras.
Much due to Megan’s personal circumstances and healing process, attention with Calaveras Big Trees shifted to a revolving monthly witness practice from 2014 to 2015. Upon hearing that pollinators are in focus for 2017 Lost Species Day, Megan’s growing interest and sense of urgency to support on-the-ground, universally beneficent regeneration projects sparked a vision for the Regenerative Memorials. This vision coalesced when a series of synchronicities connected Pollinator Posse and Extinction Witness early November 2017.
The cardinal Regenerative Memorial garden, Lu’s Memorial Pollinator Garden, was established by Pollinator Posse director Tora Rocha at Lake Merritt, Oakland California to honor the memory of her mother Lucille Rocha upon Lucille’s request for a living memorial. The intent of Lu’s Memorial Pollinator Garden and all the work of Pollinator Posse is to presence community members whose voices go unrecognized and, thus, whose needs go readily unmet. Lucille’s Regenerative Memorials also carry the legacy of Megan’s teacher Lucille Bertuccio, also a mother, who through an elective course in Ecohumanism at Indiana University first opened Megan’s mind to the deeper story and cost of materialism, as well worm composting! Lucille Bertuccio was herself devoted to the smallest, more often than not, unseen, unheard, and vastly under-appreciated community members.
Honoring Birth Above All Feats and Sacrifices
Whereas Lake Merritt is the United States’ first official wildlife refuge, the 1854 stripping of “Mother of the Forest” in Calaveras spurred the formation of U.S. National Parks. And, we keep in mind that of two million whales killed between 1920 and 1970 nearly half of the females were carrying an unborn whale, while today sea lion mothers are failing to feed their babes, wolf and grizzly mothers are threatened in their dens, and albatross mothers feed their babes plastic. The list goes on. Nearly vanished is the quality of honoring and respecting mothers for their most necessary nurturing habits.
So, we begin in the gardens and in the groves remembering to honor birth before, above, below, through, and beyond death. Birth, not death, is the ultimate feat and sacrifice to be regarded, because to give birth is to die to the separate ego and to bear someone who will eventually die. There is no greater act of faith, humility, and surrender than to bring forth and love with all of oneself the fleeting glimpse of that which eventually passes as part of life’s ongoing.
Calaveras North Grove is high on the wish list for designation as a Regenerative Memorial that Mother Sequoia may be properly honored for the magnificent sacrifice.
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