"We can love ourselves by loving the earth." Wangari Maathai
Six years ago we attended an intimate Winter Solstice gathering hosted by Deepak Chopra at ABC Carpet. The event was a conversation between Deepak and Wangari Maathai. It was a magical night and Wangari's spirit illuminated the room.
In honor of Earth Day on April 22nd, we wanted to share the story of this amazing woman and the legacy she left behind.
Wangari was the founder of the Green Belt Movement and the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Price. She dedicated her life and courageously fought for environmental conservation, democracy, peace and women's rights. Her Green Belt Movement was a grass-roots movement that encouraged women to plant trees in their local environments and to think ecologically. The movement spread throughout Africa, contributing to the planting of over thirty million trees.
What stood out to us in reading her memoir, Unbowed, is how deeply connected she was with nature and her natural surroundings. She profoundly chose the tree, a symbol of growth, wisdom and life, to carry out her mission.
Sadly, Wangari Maathai passed away on September 11, 2011 but her legacy lives on in every tree planted. If you've not had a chance to read her book, its a good reminder of the power of trees and a great read for Earth Day.