Community Update

Digital Empowerment Toolkit Now Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits aim to provide the resources you need to advance your social change work.

We are excited to introduce our Digital Empowerment Trainers’ Toolkit, a dynamic resource to help you bring the benefits of connecting online to women in your community. Check it out today! »

weaving trees

It’s the beginning of summer in Zimbabwe. The sound in the hot afternoon is crackling - pods exploding and scattering shiny brown seeds into the dust. It is dry now. It has been many months since the rains. We’ve come through the cold and the frosty nights and the trees are doing everything at once. They are dancing the change of season. They come alive in expectance of rain and growth and continuance. These trees are called Msasa and they cover the North East of Zimbabwe. They spread North through Zambia and into the DRC where they grow much taller closer to the Equator, and East almost to Mozambique where on the mountains they grow very small at the limits of their altitude and their livelihood.

They are exploding their seeds and they are getting dressed in new leaves. The leaves come in all colours – yellow, orange, red, crimson and after that first hot flush they turn green – long before there is even a smell of rain on the wind.

The leaves and the pods settle on the weathered grass of the thatched homes in our village. We look after trees in our village. They shelter our buildings and our gardens. There is a strong hunger for wood, and these msasa trees make a good fire. It’s the wood that has been used for centuries to warm our hearths but centuries ago the forests covered the country. Now there are many places where there is only grass, or not even grass any more - only dust. So we look after our trees, they give us shelter and shade. They make our village beautiful. They are our friends, and our mothers. When the rains come mushrooms sprout underneath them and they give us food.

Web 2 helps me share this and helps you to know the gentleness and the harshness of our land. How the trees are beautiful and strong like women. How they grow together in groups, spread their branches to touch each other and whisper together like women. How they give shelter and nourishment like women take care of their children and families. How they they keep homes warm and welcoming even through hard times of hunger and pain, frost and wounds. How they mirror the arch of the sky that holds us all.

Through Web 2 I can bring our village into your lives and your lives into our village. We can share our stories and witness each other in our power and our beauty and our diversity. I can sit in my office under the trees and through the satellite internet connection, powered by the sun I can connect with the world.
And with the many women who have touched a tree and drawn strength and refreshment, and who have been conscious of the connection to the deep, cool, permanence of the earth. Hearth. Home.

478 words.

Comments

Sara_Aissa's picture

beautiful and touching

You write wonderfully... I can feel the shade of the trees through your words. This is an interesting and personal and animated approach to the prompt. Keep writing, I want to know more!

Sara_Aissa

jadefrank's picture

the msasa

Dearest,

Your words have left me breathless, speechless, filled with awe, hope and wonder, and hungry for more! I love your writing and hope to learn more about you, about your work and how you arrived here on PulseWire. Thank you for writing this, and for painting such a beautiful portrait of the msasa and it's significance to your village.

In friendship,
Jade

Angel.S's picture

Poetry Made Real

Thank you so much for sharing such a beautiful thought about the power of connectedness and community. Though we are many miles apart, I can feel the urgency, the love, the passion you hold in your heart for these trees and this season. I wish you and your community many blessings and I give thanks that I am in this forum at this moment in time.

Peace sister!
~ Angel

Angel V. Shannon, RN
Public Health Nurse / Integrative Health Educator
www.onedharmacenter.com

The Afrika way's picture

wow

Hi Bounce

You write so beautifully, so calming, so simple yet so powerful. I just love the way write.

warm regards,
Grace

olutosin's picture

Creativity

This is a beautiful piece, bringing African taste to my tongue.....and taking us closer home as if I really mean as if......I was under the Msasa trees

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

hannah's picture

Thank you for your lovely

Thank you for your lovely writing...trees of life.
Hannah

bounce's picture

thank you all for your lovely

thank you all for your lovely comments. look forward to meeting you more online

ShukThi's picture

so unique

You brought a bit of your world alive and into my home here in Canada on the lands of the Coast Salish people :-)

Web 2.0 empowers us, indeed to connect as humans across distance. You have an absolutely unique voice. Keep writing!

I would love to see more tags on your post, so more people can come across your journal.

bounce's picture

thank you

Thank you for your comments ShukThi. I have a friend called Sukhthi... the names are so close. Is this another name for the goddess of strength and vengeance?
Thanks for your support and comments and a lot of what you say in your intro resonates with me. I too look forward to the day when we are not defined by race and nationality, religion and gender - and can just be human.
Not sure how to put more tags on the post. Perhaps you can tell me?
look forward to connecting more with you and your energy.

ShukThi's picture

tags

Yes, it might be another name. Sukh also means good, and there are lots of names that start with Sukh. Finally, meaning is personal, isn't it?

I like to the ability to critique, improve and resist without worrying about alienating systems and people that may have power over me. So I prefer using the pseudonym ShukThi to my real name.

Here's a post by by Jade Frank http://www.worldpulse.com/user/658 about tagging http://www.worldpulse.com/node/15418 . Hope you find it helpful.

MelissaMack's picture

Wonderful Illustration

Your passage was very descriptive. I liked how you compared the way of trees to the lives of women. Nice work!

bennettml's picture

This passage from your journal

This passage is one of the most beautiful things I have seen written in a long time...thanks for writing it

Web 2 helps me share this and helps you to know the gentleness and the harshness of our land. How the trees are beautiful and strong like women. How they grow together in groups, spread their branches to touch each other and whisper together like women. How they give shelter and nourishment like women take care of their children and families. How they they keep homes warm and welcoming even through hard times of hunger and pain, frost and wounds. How they mirror the arch of the sky that holds us all.

MLB

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

Face to Face with the U.S. Special Envoy to DRC

Face to Face with the U.S. Special Envoy to DRC

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

Highlights of the 2014 World Pulse LIVE Tour

Highlights of the 2014 World Pulse LIVE Tour

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative