Hildur Jackson

In Memory of a Life Well Lived

by Kosha Joubert

Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
Winging wildly across the white orchards and dark green fields;
On – on – and out of sight.

Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted;
And beauty came like the setting sun:
My heart was shaken with tears; and fear drifted away…
O, but everyone was a bird; and the song was wordless;
the singing will never be done.

(Everyone Sang - Siegfried Sassoon)

In this newsletter, we share in the celebration of Hildur, mother of GEN and Gaia Education, in memory of a life well lived, and in grieving of her passing. Hildur’s life was a song for justice and human dignity. Remembering her, it seems her voice was singing rather than speaking: singing about togetherness; about the simple beauty of planting and harvesting; about taking care of the children, of the earth and of each other. She believed in the deep inherent power of people to come together in community in order to change the world into the beautiful place we know in our hearts it can be. A special place in her heart went out to women, and to Africa.

Hildur’s big heart and vision, in close marriage to her beloved husband’s wild intelligence and skills, gave birth to the Global Ecovillage Network and to Gaia Education. She died on 6 September, peacefully held in the circle of her loved ones, with her husband, Ross, by her side. We will miss her dearly…

We are especially grateful that she was able to be with us at the GEN+20 Summit. She spoke powerfully of her vision – and left a clear legacy and assignment for GEN and Gaia Education to continue the work on a next level of impact and effectiveness, with a special focus on refugees (and again, her heart went out especially to the beautiful sons and daughters of Africa that risk their lives in crossing the Mediterranean). GEN and Gaia Education are taking this, and her wish for a further book to be published focusing on concrete designs of ecovillages, forward.

In the past weeks, we have received hundreds of messages from all over the planet of people whose lives have been changed and touched by Hildur. It is deeply touching to feel the widening circles that one women’s life can sound out into our collective.

Thank you, Hildur, for all you have shared,
Thank you for your wisdom and caring, your generosity and humour, you’re your powerful femininity and fierce tenacity!

As you fly, your song here on earth continues. We are singing with you.
Beauty came like the setting sun.
O, but everyone was a bird; and the song was wordless;
the singing will never be done.

Please also read the words of her good friend, and fellow Gaia Trust Board member, Peter Pruzan, about his experience of Hildur at the GEN+20 Summit:

“There is a great deal I could write about Hildur and her contribution to a better World – I met her in Copenhagen in the spring of 1960 and introduced her to Ross, in 1964 – an act that I consider as one of my own contributions to a better World!! But I will restrict myself to writing about some experiences my wife Kirsten and I shared with Hildur and Ross a bit earlier this year. It is a story about how she is respected and loved by the many, many people who live in eco-villages all over the world. These are communities she helped to form and inspire in the more than 20 years since she and Ross were driving forces in the establishment of GEN and the more than 10 years since they, but Hildur in particular, were the co-creators of Gaia Education. The story is strongly inspired by the wonderful days in July that Kirsten and I spent together with Hildur and Ross at Findhorn, in the north of Scotland, where Gen was founded in 1995. Here the participants celebrated the GEN+20 Summit, and thereby, Hildur and Ross, as well.
We experienced that Hildur was received as an all-embracing mother of the more than 300 participants from more than 60 countries who attended the conference. Every time she said something there was total silence in the beautiful large Universal Hall. She was shown respect that ordinarily is shown to a head of state. And in spite of a body that was fatigued and suffering, she was often filled with energy, enthusiasm and joy. She was together with her ‘extended family’.”


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