The Regen Ring
My hands have changed over the last 10 years almost as much as I have. They show more wrinkles, more callouses, but also more commitments. On my hands there is a wedding ring symbolising my commitment to my partner, there is a ring that reads ‘be open give love’ which is my commitment to myself, and there is a ring on my pinky finger that is my commitment to the regeneration of this earth.
But before I had this Regen ring, I had a Regen string. A green string tied around my wrist for the first time 10 years ago in Arizona. In 2024, I swapped my string for a ring that received in a ceremony when I joined the organisation I work for now.
But to tell you the story of my string and my ring, I have to tell you this story about a bridge.
In 1900 construction began on the Quebec Bridge in Canada but just as construction was nearing completion, the bridge collapsed and seventy-five people were killed. An inquiry showed that doubts had been raised by some of the engineers but not taken seriously. Construction resumed before tragedy struck again and ten more lives were lost. This tragedy resulted in some soul-searching in the engineering community. How could this have happened? Why did more engineers not speak out? Why were they not listened to? The answers that came back were not good. A culture ruled by costs not by responsibility. In 1922 a ritual was introduced to all graduating engineering students in Canada called the “Ritual of the Calling of the Engineer”. They recited a poem by Rudyard Kipling and were given a ring to wear on the pinky finger of their dominant hand -designed to clink on the table when they signed a contract, reminding them of their oath.
The Regen Ring came about exactly 100 years later in 2022. As climate change started to be felt in more dramatic ways, a different kind of soul searching began. How could this have happened? Why did more people not speak out? Why were they not listened to? The same answers were reached. Cultures of costs and commodities all run by a capitalist system that needed to grow or else it would collapse. In 2022 a new ritual was introduced to all humans, a ritual called the Regen Ring. It started simply with a poem and a piece of green string tied around the wrist.
As the movement grew, green strings were seen everywhere. Some organisations decided to make the ritual more formal gathering members in ceremony to receive rings that would remind them that despite their employment, their first obligation is and will always be to the regeneration of life.
I wore a string for two years and I ahve had my ring for eight years now. It has guided me through tough decisions but also given me comfort, as it reminds me of my kinship with all things.
“As I pause and feel this ring,
I remember my kinship with all things”
As I breathe, and thank the trees
I see my kinship in all things”
“As I use my words, for those not heard
I channel my kinship with all things”
“As I feel my fire, I do aspire
To protect the kinship among all things
“As I ground my feet I know I’m complete
to rejoice in my kinship with all things”
As I stand facing the futures past; and the Pasts future
I Open my Heart to Fellow travellers… This ring is token of our Connection and our Potential.
As I remember the stars and the forms we have taken, I dance the timefulness of things;
acknowledging the stillness in movement and the motion in stillness
As I Foresee the forms before us, the roads taken and not
I act for the eternal presence of the best in all – the Benevolence of form and formlessness
As I Act, I speak for those who are voiceless: I am silent for the over-spoken;
Voice and voicelessness being the markers of a new pathway of Responsibility
As I believe in the Best of us and in the Processes of Becoming
I place my trust in the unseen behind the seen, the possibility of Wholeness when all appears broken
I yearn for this Wholeness, the ring on my finger is a promise not a fact…
From Brokenness we will arise ever new, from limitations we reach for new Horizons of Possibility
To be connected is a journey not a goal
To be responsible is an evolving relationship with form and formless.
This ritual was designed by Claire Marshall, Kimberly Camrass, Marcus Bussey, Elissa Richard, Liam Mayo, Jeanne Hoffman and Emily Jaworski.