Ruthy Celis with pack basket and buckskin bikini top

Ruthy Celis Remembers the Importance of Being Wild and Free

"The energy of Firefly Gathering rekindles a flame in my soul that is in danger of becoming extinct if I don't visit; there I remember the importance of being wild and free and connected."

Ruthy Celis exudes warmth that is evident as soon as she says, “Hello.” She’s one of those genuine humans who wants to make sure that those around her are comfortable, while simultaneously being so comfortable within herself and confident in what she believes that you find yourself wanting to be in her presence. She has always been willing to step up when needed, which is valued beyond measure in an ever evolving organization such as Firefly. Ruthy now graciously serves as our administrative director, bookkeeper, donations coordinator, and more.

For many years, Ruthy felt pulled toward something more meaningful than the life in the suburbs she experienced as a child, but she wasn’t sure how to meet that need. She says, “I didn’t have a group of dwarfs show up at my door to get me motivated for an adventure.” However, she did meet a brother from the earthskills group, dressed in nothing but a loin cloth and with leaves in his dreads. He wasn’t exactly a dwarf, but he was the most fantastical creature she’d ever encountered! He introduced her to a lifestyle that could meet her needs and gave her an opportunity to protect our Earth. He told her about his life and about other events she could attend to learn more. So, she made the pilgrimage to her first gathering. There she felt the void in her heart and soul filling through connection with the natural world to which she belongs.

Ruthy remembers when she stepped into her first gathering and felt as if she was reunited with her family. Her parents both had lived in developing countries where it was necessary to remain connected to nature in order to survive. She feels as though she intuitively has this connection and that gatherings are a way to hone her skills and commune with other like-minded people. Though she has only been fully immersed in this nature-connected lifestyle for a few years, she is thankful to have had parents with similar types of experiences. Her family and her memories of going on camping trips almost every weekend while growing up are her foundation for falling in love with the Earth.

To Ruthy, the Firefly Gathering is “a container where the secrets about living in connection with my Earth mother, brothers and sisters are discovered.” It’s a way to stay inspired to continue on in this journey of wholesome living amid the chaos of our modern world. This light inside threatens to diminish if not for her visits to the gatherings – where she “remembers the importance of being wild and free and connected.”

In order to make the world a better place, Ruthy thinks we should follow the call that we all have deep inside us. Some people’s calls are buried deeper than others, but we all have one. The direction it sends us may not seem to make sense, but it’s the reason we exist right now. She quotes the musician, Nahko Bear, saying, “Don’t waste your hate. Rather, gather and create. Be a service, be a sensible person…Find your medicine and use it.”


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Lily Harlin


Lily is an artist, creator, and dreamer. Since a very young age, she has been immersed in the natural world and draws heavy inspiration from the wild. Though her medium changes frequently, Lily’s art and expression always incorporate an element of the organic and unpredictable. She got her associate in fine arts in 2023, and now volunteers at her school as a ceramic studio monitor. She hopes to open a studio of her own one day to have a place to teach and inspire others. In addition to doing commission work, Lily has been creating many graphics for The Firefly Gathering since 2019. Lily grew up in the Earthskills community from the time she was eight years old, so having the opportunity to grow and give back in so many ways has been incredibly fulfilling. No matter where she ends up, this group of people and ideas will always hold a special place in her heart.