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Shiver of Self-Recognition

I gave birth in silence—an unconventional labor induced by the shiver of self-recognition and midwifed by subdued breath. With my back pushed against the crimson earth, and head resting beneath the broad cocoa leaves, my song was born. It didn’t wail with pompous assertiveness, or excessive pride, but whispered softly, deep within me, crawling from beneath a weighted stone of distorted and repressive memories that long defined my existence.

I heard something long absent from my twenty-seven years on earth. I connected with a song that alchemized pain and lies into truth. And I loved it. I loved her deeply.

As a volunteer educator in Abetifi, Ghana, it was my mission to give in resources and training, never thinking I’d receive in return. But the land sired my song. Ampadu, the elder of my village advised me to honor his words: Stop, be still, listen and pay reverence to the land. He speaks and breathes in the natural world. I abandoned my westerner regimen of haste and crippling preoccupation with the past and future. In turn, I set forth to migrate daily, along a non-compassed terrain of verdant rolling hills with rich vegetation and side streets caked with red moistened earth that stained my toe nails. I submitted myself to the breath of the wind, the pulse of the land and heard myself, heard my song.


Emily Garcia's picture


Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your story with us here on PulseWire! This story is one so reverent and so full of love. The birth of your song, the birth of yourself, within and of the land is an inspiring image that will remain with me as I reflect upon my own relationship with land. I love the way you evoke both silence and song here and thus create a space of deep respect and celebration of the land and of yourself!


Also, welcome to PulseWire. You are now a member of this vibrant community and I look forward to reading about your passions, ideas, concerns and dreams. If there is anything I can help you with or if you have any particular interests, please let me know and I will try to steer you in the right direction. I know that you will find this to be a positive experience.

Again, welcome. I hope to see more of you soon!

Warm regards,


Emily Garcia
World Pulse Online Community Lead

Maria Howe's picture

A gift

That was lovely. I appreciate how you recognized the gifts you received in return from your experience. How transformative to really let yourself be present to the moment and the simple offerings of the land.

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