May 7th, 2016

How my community danced a nuclear power plant closed

How my community dance a nuclear power plant closedLater today I’ll be barefoot on my former campus quad of UC Davis, dancing to a band that I’ve been friends with since the late 1980’s. That band, a family called Clan Dyken, has been singing and inspiring and taking action for decades to support the environment and indigenous peoples.

It was during a Clan Dyken concert on the lawn of the state capital in Sacramento with my friend Autumn (that is the two of us yesterday at Whole Earth Festival, celebrating 30 years of friendship) that I deeply understood the power community, intent, and joint prayer.

Here was the setup:

Citizens were being asked to vote on Rancho Seco, the nuclear power plant in Sacramento. The community was asked to decide its fate. A  lot of money and resources had gone into getting people to vote to keep the plant open, and it was expected that would be the outcome.

Clan Dyken decided to do a concert the day of the vote on the lawn of the Capital, with the sound and lights powered by their solar bus.

I felt the miracle happen.

I was dancing and praying, eyes closed, the music vibrating my cells. My body pulled the music in and then poured energy out, asking the spirits and the people to help us close down the nuclear plant. I was in trance, primal, no thought, connected to my community through a web of movement and intent.

Suddenly I felt our collective energy go out, like a wave rippling in all directions from a center source, and I understood without a doubt that we had done it. My very bones knew that the nuclear plant would be closed. And the next day we received the confirmation.

It had never happened before, and it never happened again.

As the Sacramento Bee wrote: On June 6, 1989, Sacramento became the first — and only — community in the world to shutter a nuclear power plant by public vote. writes: The decision changed Sacramento’s landscape. Among other things, it prompted Rancho Seco’s owner, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, to launch a massive energy conservation program that included planting a half-million trees to blanket California’s capital city in shade.

After the vote, SMUD not only had to diversify its energy supply, but it was able to stabilize rates and power delivery.


Here is the lesson:

Yup, that's me in 1987, dancing and drumming at Whole Earth Festival with my boyfriend Dave and my friend Elise.
Yup, that’s me in 1987, dancing and drumming at Whole Earth Festival with my boyfriend Dave and my friend Elise.

Impossible change can happen from love, from celebration, from union with others. When we gather people together we can bring the consciousness, the creativity, and the force to shift even the most entrenched systems. If we hold it is hopeless, if we don’t use our right to demonstrate, to vote, to make our voices heard, then nothing changes. But if we are willing to bring our full self into the dance, if we are able to let go of the outcomes and gather the full presence of our light with others, miracles do happen.

So let’s gather and create miracles, dance and ripple our intent out, join hands and not only pray, but also act, for our values, vision, and freedom of expression. You are valuable. Always remember you are part of a greater whole.