Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mourning Professor Wangari Mathai

“Women have become aware that planting trees or fighting to save forests from being chopped down is part of a larger mission to create a society that respects democracy, decency, adherence to the rule of law, human rights, and the rights of women.”

I am just now hearing of the passing of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Wangari Mathai, who created The Green Belt Movement and with the help of rural communities led by women planted forty million trees across Africa, transforming deserts to forests and women from victims of poverty into agents of their own economic empowerment. I am shedding real tears of sorrow for the loss of her. I believe she was the greatest woman leader of our time, she knew the connection between forests and peace and prosperity. Between economic empowerment and equal rights for women and the wellbeing of the whole community and how planting trees would bring them to that empowered place.

When I first heard of Professor Mathai and her tree magic that was saving the Earth and the lives of women in Kenya, I was already having my own obsessive thoughts about the connection between trees and forests and the wellbeing of the community. Once I knew of her and the Nobel Peace Prize she won for her work I no longer felt silly talking about how I was sure that if we planted more trees, more gardens, there would be less terrible crime, less poverty, less despair. That more trees meant more beauty, more peace, more abundance, more food, more water, more spirit, more hope, more equality, more empowerment for women, more positive transformation into a race of humans that once again lives in harmony with the Earth Mother and with one another. Professor Mathai affirmed for me that we can indeed reforest the Earth and save the human race, that it is not too late. I know her fabulous Green Belt Movement will continue their great work across Africa and she will be their spirit guide.

As for me, I will plant a tree in thanks for her life, of course, this is the best way I can celebrate her legacy on this sad day.


KatDChu said...

Hi Lynn,

I really enjoy your blog. You are a very talented writer. I want to become a better writer so reading your work inspired me to rekindle my blog. My husband Ken is a childhood friend of your husband. Thank you for posting about the Blog Guyana Gayle as a female writer, I love the stories but most of all I like how you connect social activists with environment, trees, and the work of women leaders to make the world better.

Kathy Churchill

Lynn Sweeting said...

hi kathy, thank you for the words of support, they mean the world to me. yes the connections are all there waiting for us to see them. thanks again for reading, i look forward to reading your blog. keep writing!

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