Family We Are Born With and Family We Choose

I am in Florida visiting the family I was born into. It is such a different world from what I do my best to live in. They are well-meaning people… and I have so little in common with them.

Our family reunions are toxic food served on disposables with many conversations about babies, marriage (of course only between a man and a woman) and church.

I love them and yet I feel so sad whenever I come visit. I am not quite sure why my Karma had me born into this family.

I show up with my reusable container, utensils, and mug every year. Every year I bring salad which almost noone eats and some other veggie dish which this year they liked and ate a majority of (roasted root vegetables.) Every year, I do my very best to model the solutions, and I am pretty sure I have never once made an impact on them and the way they live their lives. And it breaks my heart and pretty much makes me feel hopeless about the state of our world.

This time, I was blown away when a relative asked, “Are you dating anybody? Guy or Girl?” WOW!!! I think they are pretty much the only one in my family who is totally cool with whatever my answer to that would be. Most of the rest of my family, if they read this blog, and know that I have dated both men and women and am in favor of all people being supported in loving relationships regardless of gender, would have a problem. And I would never be allowed to bring a girl I was dating home to meet them. That is a sin and although “they love the sinners, they despise the sin.” Which translates to a huge portion of my life is not acceptable to them.

A long time ago, I let go of the belief that I “should” do anything for or with my family of origin. I have nothing to prove there. This isn’t my “work” as many people say families are often about.

I have been so incrediblly blessed and humbled to my core by my family of choice that I have met and deeply connected with over the years. My “aunties” in Northern California and my Mendocino family and my “Framily” in the Bay Area. These are the family I go to to be renewed, supported, and loved in the way I so deeply long for.

My family of origin, I love and they, for the most part, love me. Only thing is, that love is held together by a tenous string of inauthenticity. And that makes it hard for me to be here.

My immediate family of parents and siblings– we too are very different. Somehow, we make it work– probably because we almost never see each other and only speak on rare occasions. We have almost nothing in common other than blood.

I do love them all. But I feel like an alien in my family who walks around covered in a shield in order to deal with the experience.

I wish them all the very best blessings that the Universe has to offer. I wish them joy, love, peace, and health. And I am extremely grateful for when I can be back with my family of choice. They show me what family can truly feel like.

Here’s to famlies everywhere– every description, every gender relationship, every shape, form, and possibility. May we all be connected to families that renew our spirits– whether they be families of origin or families of choice.

Published in: on November 29, 2009 at 5:10 am  Comments (35)  


Up LATE!!! I write on my blog because it’s been more than a minute since my last post. Tonight, I was reminded how much I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the other-than-human part of our Nature! I try so hard to relate to the human animals, but I so often feel like I just don’t get it. Tonight, while hiking with a friend, I saw a Bobcat, 3 Great Horned Owls, and Quail, a Rabbit, and myriad other Birds along with watching the Ocean turn wild, magical hues of aqua-blue, silver, and gold as the sun disappeared below the horizon line. In moments like these, i think maybe I wasn’t dropped on the wrong planet after all.

I just don’t get people much. I mean I do, in some sense. But, mostly, no, not so much. I walk through this world being pulled between being inspired and disgusted. In many ways, living in a tree for over two years, surviving all that I did, was easier than living in this disconnected, crazy, violent world.

The amount of times, I have to watch and listen to people who know better make great excuses for their violent and destructive behaviors, makes me want to throw my middle fingers up in the air and walk off into the sunset over the ocean. It seems like such a beautiful and peaceful way to create completion in my life. And yet, in the face of this, I get so completely blown away by the beauty of this mind-blowing Planet Earth, that I find myself sticking around for another round.

I dance in this duality on pretty much a daily basis. I am not saying, by ANY stretch of the imagination, that I am perfect. It’s just that I get so disheartened by all the ways we sell out on the Sacred Earth, and ALL Her Species. We “want” something, so we do it– regardless of the consequences. It just turns my stomach and breaks my heart. And sometimes, I just feel overwhelmed by it all. And all I want to do, is throw my middle fingers up in the air as I walk off into the sunset.

But that is for movie sets. So instead, I write about it. Honestly. Because somehow that keeps me here. And keeps me accountable. No matter what people think.

I love you owls, bobcats, birds, and ocean.

Thank You for another mind-blowing, magical moment.


julia butterfly hill

Published in: on November 17, 2009 at 9:01 am  Comments (18)  

Sing Your Songs

Today I went to an event called, “Growing A Global Heart” in support of Belvie Rooks and her vision and commitment to planting 1 million trees along the trans-atlantic slave route to plant healing for people and the planet. Belvie is an incredible human being. She has supported so many incredible individuals and organizations, and it was an incredible honor to show up to support her and her amazing and inspiring vision. While sitting listening to one amazing speaker after another, a poem came through me. I share it now in honor of Belvie Rooks and the profound vision of one million trees being planted and growing and thriving along the trans-atlantic slave route. It is a vision whose time has come. For more information go to:

“Sing Your Songs”

Sing your songs,
Children of the Earth…
You, whose voices
have been shut down,

Sing your songs,
Children of the Earth…
You, who have lost hope,
given up on a world
that has given up on you.

Sing your songs,
Children of the Earth…
Sing the world awake
from its terrible slumber.
Sing the world
into healing,
re-weaving the threads
of a torn fabric.

Sing your songs,
Children of the Earth…
sing at the top of your lungs,
from the roof-tops
as we plant gardens
and dance rhythms
only you know…
inviting others to remember.

Sing your songs,
Children of the Earth…
Sing loudly,
Sing proudly.
Hold your heads high
and your hearts wide open.

Sing your songs,
Children of the Earth…
and teach us all to sing
the song…
of healing…


julia butterfly hill November 1, 2009

Published in: on November 2, 2009 at 8:04 am  Comments (10)