Humankind has upset the balance of nature. Hence, more frequent, voracious natural disasters are occurring all over the earth – all the more reason for us to become self-sustaining and self-sufficient as family units.
We call our home the Alaula Kipuka Refuge. “Alaula” means “first morning light on the rainforest dew,” and “kipuka” means “a piece of land protected from lava flows.” This land contains 600-year-old native ohia trees. Some of the amazing tasks we do as a family unit are catching our rainwater and growing gardens and citrus trees organically. We enjoy occasional eggs from our two hens, and we use their manure to give nitrogen to our gardens. Another thing we do is work to restore these rare rainforests by uprooting invasive species and planting native ones, which protect and encourage water retention in the aquifers beneath the ground. You can learn more about our work at: https://yamahilo.wixsite.com/akrefuge
Last October, I was feeling discouraged as I heard scientists say that we have less than a decade to reverse dramatic climatic change. More and more endangered species are becoming extinct daily. The temperature of our Earth is climbing. Sea levels are rising. People and animals are homeless.
I called Silent Unity, as I have in the last twenty years. A prayer partner prayed with me. We prayed for the United States of America and all other nations to truly begin to restore the earth damage. And you know what? I received the affirmation, “We are open to Divine Direction as Perfect Order is Unfolding.”
In the last few days, I have gotten very excited because I am seeing Divine Direction as Perfect Order Unfolding in the commitment of our great nation to a global effort to grow, restore, and conserve “One Trillion Trees” around the world. The website https://www.1t.org was launched by the World Economic Forum as a global initiative in January 2020. This is a nature-based solution set up to support the U.N. Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030.
The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), under the Department of Agriculture, is the agency responsible for helping restore our native forests all over our country. My state of Hawaii is partaking in the pledge to help plant one trillion trees. Your state is, too, I’ll bet! Whether you own land or not, please get in there and plant a tree.
We minister to Friends of Color (FOC) and Indigenous Hawaiians and other Indigenous folks in Volcano and all over the Big Island. We also encourage European-descent allies to join us. We hope to educate Quakers about how crucial it is to return stolen lands to Native Peoples who have lost and are still losing their homelands. This is one way to restore balance with our only Mother Earth. Racial injustice and environmental injustice go hand in hand.
But I believe we humans have an opportunity now to change our bad habits and to restore ourselves and restore our earth around us. Akua God help us help ourselves to Make the Change to Be the Change. We don’t have the luxury of time. Let’s make a plan now! We can do it together! We can! ~~~
This piece was abridged from a collection of writings published at: https://westernfriend.org/media/now-or-never-unabridged.
Yumi Kawano is a member of Volcano Friends for Truth and Peace, a worship group on the Big Island of Hawaii. She is active in promoting the causes of earth justice and racial justice within and through Pacific Yearly Meeting.