Nelson Mandela – ‘When Great Trees Fall’

Nelson Mandela – ‘When Great Trees Fall’

December 6th, 2013 (No Comments)

Today we as a global village are holding the death and life of Nelson Mandela in our hearts. His phenomenal capacity to live and love and serve abundantly is for me a shining, soulful embodiment of one who represents all that is Love – the underworld journey of living in all of the Darkness and the Light.

As one who was born in Africa and is still being taught by the ways and wisdom of the African people, I am overcome today with a sense of how much we yet have to learn from this continent and her precious people. I wish we could all use this opportunity to stop everything and pay attention to his life; to a story of unflinching courage and steely will, yet vast and open tenderness.  How much to learn from those impossible decades of torture and imprisonment and his walk towards daily freedom, for his people and this globe.

I’m grateful to have received several emails today from my dear friends and colleagues from Courage & Renewal.  I had to pass on some of this inspiration to you.  Listen to this song when you get a few minutes.  In doing so – when his being is so present and liminally alive globally – let us invite his indomitable African spirit to enliven and bless us all our days.

One of the young African leaders who follows in the footsteps of Wangari Maathai is Pini Chepkoech Kidula.  She is the founder and director of  Jitokeze Wamama Wafrika in West Pokot Kenya.  Check out her website for more information .  I hold up her work and the work of so many like her who are continuing in that same indomitable spirit.

Here are tender words for today from Maya Angelou:

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.
When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.
When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
promised walks
never taken.
Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly.  Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed.  They existed.
We can be.  Be and be
better.  For they existed.
—Maya Angelou

Leave a Reply