Wangari Maathai, rest in peace

The great tree-planter and feminist, Wangari Maathai, Nobel Prize winner, died yesterday.

We were fortunate enough to see her speak a few years ago, and I was frankly awed by her ability to find simple, enduring truths in complicated, desperate situations. 

Even today, speaking about the unhappiness of development in Kenya, her words resonate with me: 

"Now the forests have come down, the land has been turned to commercial farming, the tea plantations keep everyone poor, and the economic system does not allow people to appreciate the beauty of where they live."

In these United States we need not fear tea farming, can still see forests, if we choose, and haven't seen our lives ruined by commercial farming. Yet so many of us — myself included, at times — have become wage slaves, gripped by fear, unable to see the beauty of this world all around us. 


Thank you for insisting on the goodness and power and beauty of trees, Ms. Maathai. 

2 thoughts on “Wangari Maathai, rest in peace

  1. I was fortunate to meet Wangari in 1988 in Aspen when she was awarded the Windstar Award by John Denver. I was living in Los Angeles but volunteered in the press tent and this allowed me to interview her. Her fireplug build and radiant smile portrayed her passion and her determination in her work. Rest easy Wangari . . .
    Steve Alldredge


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