I’ve learned the name of the beautiful tree outside my study. Itʻs an Elm. Itʻs tall and has a gorgeous rough trunk that forks. There are different colored mosses growing all over it. There’s thick dark green moss on the north side, thin yellow green covering most of the tree, and a little brownish orange spot growing higher up.
Elms are hermaphrodites that have flowers pollinated by the wind. When I look at the elm deeply, I feel calm.
I was also excited to learn the name of linden trees. There are at least six beautiful ones across Lake Street - the street where we live - that are almost at the end of their flowering season. In Romania, linden trees are sacred and symbolize love, fertility, prosperity, peace, justice and altruism. In Greece it is Aphrodite’s tree. Linden flowers have a delicate fragrance and are used for, among many other things, mild anxiety and insomnia.
Lake Street can be very busy with cars and trucks whizzing by as the day progresses. These beautiful trees silently bear witness to this with unflinching love.
Fifth generation horticulturalist Nance Klehm taught me the names of the trees when she took us around our block at our Women’s Retreat last month. Nance is a person who walks her talk and is our featured person this month.
We had a beautiful Zen Eye-Opening Ceremony and Celebration this past Saturday. The ceremony blessed and consecrated our new space as a sanctuary where people can awaken through acts of kindness, generosity, and compassion.
The recent news about the immigrant father and child dying on the banks of the Rio Grande River - near Brownsville, Texas -trying to swim to the U.S. heart-breaking. The news about 13,000 children living in detention centers and being separated from their parents at the border is horrifying. Closer to home, immigrant communities in Illinois live with the fear of raids and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ripping families apart. This must change.
I am the granddaughter of immigrants to Hawaii. My paternal grandparents came from Kumamoto, Japan to work the sugar plantation on the Hamakua Coast. My maternal grandfather came from Hiroshima, Japan to build a new life in Hawaii. I have enjoyed the fruits of their labor and hopefully am also working to leave the earth a better place for the next generation.
Iʻm attending the July 13th Chicago Daley Plaza Rally to End Criminalization, Detention and Deportation of Immigrants. The Rally is from 11 am to 1 pm. I hope youʻll join me.
Malama pono (take good care of body, mind and spirit),
June Kaililani Tanoue
Kumu Hula and Sensei