Insights from nature

Being of Nature

“Every aspect of nature is its own distinct contribution, sometimes greatly opposing the properties of another, and yet they find their complement together, and there is no question of belonging. Nature invited me into listening. It invited me into synergy and serendipity, and that coordination is both planned and spontaneously co-created. Nature asked me to widen in my heart and trust that the answers live way beyond me or what I can directly control.” – Vassilisa Johri

She Holds Us Still

Prentis Hemphill and Kasha Ho are two of the most beautiful humans I have ever met, and they found each other, and I love and learn so much from how they live.

Prentis: “I moved to Hawaii two and a half years ago to be with my partner, whose family came here generations ago to work the plantations. Soon after moving, I had this experience of sitting in our backyard in the Palolo Valley of Oahu, which was mostly a section of jungle and less a yard. But I was sitting there on the dirt considering Western psychology (I’m a therapist) and this concept of the ‘good-enough mother,’ of being an imperfect but mostly present mother as enough to raise a healthy child. I was thinking about the isolation of Western parenting and how the burden fell absolutely on women, but also I was considering and feeling this human longing to be held completely.

Sitting on that ground, it occurred to me, through my body first, then my thoughts, that the Earth, the land was the key. The Earth has held everything that’s ever happened to us. And in psychology we see health indicated by our romantic or familial or work relationships, but there’s never an assessment of our relationship with place and land. It was a huge realization for me to feel that as a healing justice organizer and practitioner, I could borrow from the ground because it has always had the most capacity. And I can keep pointing our people in the direction of the ground and the land to hold what seems impossible. For Black people in the U.S., this is a complicated conversation and one I feel is critical to our collective healing.”

Kasha:

The question is:

Can I get bigger than myself?

Not lose myself or let myself go

but become wide enough to contain all that is true.

Resist the temptation to retract around what is right

or makes me feel in control.

Broaden my hips out wide like the valley.

The Earth holds all of this

and doesn’t feel responsible.

Her water is moved by the moon.

Her surface is warmed by the sun.

And she doesn’t fight the feelingor feel self-conscious.

We have torn and prodded and blown her apart.

She holds us still.

Without contempt.

We kill each other and hate each other on her shores.

She witnesses.

Sends rains to cleanse.

She doesn’t question her existence.

She just continues to be.

From the Online Zine Let the Choir Say Wow to accompany Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds.