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"I make birds"

“I make birds”…says the southern voice from across the room. I remember the first time I met Chris, and hearing her say this, as we went through introductions at our retreat in Ocate in Northern New Mexico. I remember coming out of my sleepy-we’re-going-around-the-room doing introductions-trance. What did she just say? I sat up straighter, opening my eyes, and cocking my head to listen. “I make birds” the voice said again. I looked over to the other side of the room where the voice is coming from. My eyes travel to a woman sitting in a chair with an unassuming but strong presence. “I make them for people, they’re birds of peace. I’m making one for each of you” and she nods her head around the room at each of us.

Chris Baschon was a middle school art teacher in Greenwood South Carolina. She had a student who wanted to do origami. She says “It just wasn’t for me”. He looked up how to weave birds from paper on YouTube . I realized if I made them white, they resembled peace doves. Chris started when she was 59, and is now 67. She says she has made over 10,000 paper birds, and sent them all over the world.

“I’m just a conduit”, she says. “It helps me when I’m feeling down. I just go and give some away. It keeps me from going batshit crazy.”

Chris has sent her birds all over the world including the Pulse nightclub, Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, Ukraine, and Marjorie Stoneman school.

I read once that spiritual practice is any practice you do repeatedly. Chris’s practice of weaving peace birds is so inspiring and grounding. In the midst of all the craziness of our world, she is dedicated to a practice of peace and love and generosity. I just wanted to share her with you this month. You can find her on instagram @peacebirdsbychris on instagram, and facebook. If you'd like a peace bird, contact her, I bet she'd be more than happy to send you one.

Chris is one of the amazing women I have met at one of my favorite soul nourishing retreats. My Jungian therapist Monika Relph Wikman, and her long – time best friend Diane Haug, a Holotropic Breathwork facilitator and counselor, have offered a one week retreat in Northern New Mexico for many years. The center is located in Ocate, New Mexico and is called Ocamora, a 265 acre compound

. Diane has a long relationship with the land. She lived on it as a younger woman, and now serves as the executive director The compound is made up of many buildings including the Cloister, the cabins in the orchard, several yurts, a yoga/meeting space room, and an outdoor hot tub. Like many of the best things in life it’s hard to put into words what is so magical about the week. The land is extraordinary, we are usually there at the time of year that the elk are rutting.The elk bugling through the black night is electrifying. There are bears and owl…and every time I have gone, I find elk bones littered through the land. It’s always an eclectic group that finds it’s way there-heavy on Jungian therapists, astrologers and artists…there have also been wives of rock stars, and an occasional lawyer thrown in. For me, it always seems to be a great combination of witchiness, art, and wilderness.

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Ju Park
Ju Park
Nov 28, 2022

Thank you for sharing this! Such lovely souls. 🥰🥰🕊🕊

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