I am writing this from the rainforest, the place I love the most. I have closed my eyes. I am taking deep breaths. In my memory, I am searching, trying to find something: an answer. Anything. I feel as if I am walking along the side of an abyss. In fact, I know that I am.

I know there are some humans out there who are willing to kill. For me, I have started my day in prayer. They have started their day in prison—in their own prison made of hate. These are the people who believe war is an option. War is their world. War is their reality. For them, war is a decision—something they use to get what they want. War is what they cannot get through love, what they cannot find through talking and taking the hands of others.

As I think of this, I can barely breathe. I am aware that what is most important to me now is not important to the most powerful person on our planet. I see global warming; he sees money. I see war; he sees money. I see love; he sees hate.

I don’t know where to start. I don’t know how to communicate that I am in a difficult period in my life. Sometimes, I just stop. I crawl into my hammock and cry for hours, wishing my life could end. But life will go on with or without us. It will continue. And we have come so far; we have evolved in so many ways. We have learned, and we have also forgotten.

Indeed, we have forgotten. I see a clown in a white place—we must have forgotten the most important values in life. For me, this value is trust.

In the forest, you dream one thing and trees dream another. Lucky me, they are my friends. Before making a decision, I tell them what I plan to do. At my altar, I ask the trees for guidance. I ask for love where there is none. And they answer me, every day.

This is how I know how to protect the forests, when my own species has so many challenges and difficulties: War on our backs. Armed people behind our dreams. Kids learning about war, drugs, arms, killing. It is so unfair. So sad.

If I could just give my peace to all, the peace I find through yoga and meditation, perhaps more people would find the courage to do more than just read my words. I want to give you my peace, even while knowing that at any moment some armed guys could come for me to take me there inside this rainforest.

People tell me my writing is so beautiful, so powerful. And it is not enough. We have to do more than acknowledge it. We all need to stand up for what is right. It is not right to keep using petroleum and water and oxygen and trees and animals, including us, without caring for the present and the future.

You have to. You need to. This planet is also yours. This blue globe is also your home—the only home we have, by the way.

So. Stand up. Speak up. Talk. Talk to your best friend. Your family. Plant a tree that will become the air for others to breathe. Start a cause. One by one, we can make the difference.

I have many causes, and they sustain me. With the help of World Pulse community member Beatrice, I connected one child in Colombia, Suramérica to another in Uganda, Africa via cellular technology. We wanted to see if they could talk about something other than war. Together, Beatrice and I are dreaming that Elian and Elijah will connect as real, in-person friends someday.

The first second-hand shop of Marili will be opening soon. We are also looking to start that bakery of our dreams. One step, each day. I am founding an art and conservation station, as well. We will have to make so many earrings and necklaces and beautiful art pieces. We need more hands, more brains, more…

My dream is to protect this land; to do that, we need to find solutions for the humans living nearby. We are a species of ecosystems. If we do not have what we need to survive—food, shelter, the basic needs—then, trees, forests, rainforests will disappear, forever.

I am resilient now. As you are reading this at your desk—you may forget how many species are fighting to survive to have food, or fresh air, or clean water, or even a branch to sit on for a moment of peace.

Comments

Dear Martha,

I stand in owe and amazement in what you are doing with our environment. Your words especially move me.

Keep up the good work sis

Much love

Immah

Hi Martha

You surely write very beautiful pieces. I agree with you that we need to stand up and protect the environment. As women we have to lead by example. The ball is now in our court. Stay blessed my dear sister. 

Mrs. Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi Head of Legal and Advocacy Centre for Batwa Minorities a.kiddu@gmail.com cfmlegal@gmail.com Skype: mrs_muhanguzi

Thank you Martha for your words of inspiration and your work to make the world a better place.  You remind me how lucky I am to be able to start my day by going outside and breathing fresh air and hearing birds sing.  We need to fight to keep our environment and its ecosystems intact.

Best regards,

Mary

Love your work and the vision and courage with which you do it. At least i can live life without ever having fear of shortage of fresh air breeze. LOL... wish you continue and that you would change lives with your project. May God be with you

Dear Martha,

I love trees too! Very much - by the way I love that picture of mountains and valleys very much like Uganda! Incidentally to day I will be planting 5 trees, one grafted orange seedling , Mango seedling and three pine trees - the one that is called sugar pine, I am excited that in my little way I am planting and not cutting  and hope this makes you happier. Unfortunately the tree cover in my country is dwindling every year as not many people understand the implications of cutting down trees or are too poor to think of tomorrow hence need educating. Elian and Elijah will not talk about hate anymore ... Uganda has been peaceful for a very long time now, we have learnt how to speak love only ...we are hosting so many of our brothers and sisters from neigbouring countries. I don't like to call them refugees anymore , it feels like an badly overused word lately. Thanks for your inspirational stories of forests and nature! I hope that the two boys will one day meet physically and share so many stories in their lives.

LVB

Thank you for sharing, Martha. This is such a beautiful and resounding piece of writing! So many people, myself included, take this beautiful planet Earth for granted, and have this notion that our actions will not harm it in the process, or at least, in the near future. We must continue to remind ourselves of the origins of literally everything in our surroundings. God bless.