Luna: A Love Story of Protection, Wounding, Healing

Pictured at the base of Luna from left to right: Sanctuary Forest Board Members Stuart Moskowitz and Janice Parakilas, and Women Forest Sanctuary members Susan Werner and Robin. photo by Susan Parsons

By Susan Werner, The Women’s Forest Sanctuary

“Our mind is good at getting us to think small. But I have found that we will do for love that which we don’t think possible. So the question to ask ourselves is ‘What do I love?” Julia Butterfly Hill

As part of our community efforts to protect California’s legendary Redwood Coast, members of The Women’s Forest Sanctuary had the honor of an escorted visit to meet Luna, a 1000-year redwood in Humboldt in July of 2019. Julia Butterfly Hill, with the support of Earth First!, began living on a platform in Luna’s branches in 1997. Julia brought attention to the plight of ancient redwood forests and the urgency of protecting them. The forest protection movement’s perseverance paved the way to a settlement that spared Luna’s life. Julia’s feet touched the ground again in 1999.

A year later, a chainsaw attack left a 3-foot gash halfway around Luna’s trunk. People of different backgrounds and views connected and offered structural and biological responses: steel brackets, guy-wires and herbal remedies. Predictions of die-back have been replaced by Luna’s green new growth. Prayers for and attention to Luna continue worldwide.

How I Met Luna: Wounded and Healing

As our group drew near to Luna, I moved to the front, sensing her presence. Eager to meet her, my steps quickened and my heart beat rapidly. Suddenly I heard someone shout and I felt jangled and feared I was astray. I turned my back to Luna. Instantly I recognized that my inner knowing had guided me directly to her. Turning again, my gaze met Luna intently. I fell onto the ground before Luna and wept. The redwood duff absorbed my tears. As pain held in my body softened, I felt filled with warmth. Inconsolable sorrow and disconnection dissolved. I stood aligned and strengthened in communion.

Learnings from Luna and her Legacy

Luna’s protection highlights the value of community participation and support. Luna’s wounding provided an opportunity for an outpouring of love, and remedies that promoted healing. Luna’s resilience exemplifies our capacity for healing personal and collective wounding. May we each take part in healing separation and restoring life-giving connection. Blessings for all that is made possible through human and natural world communities working together.

Information about Luna is available through Sanctuary Forest, which monitors the Luna preserve. We thank Luna’s caretaker, Stuart Moskowitz, for escorting our visit to Luna.

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