Maathai died, and the next day I headed to a beach to make sense of a superhero
dying, a scientist who was a leader with a beautiful smile.
sea holds all the answers and all the questions. I asked the sea what I
needed to know, why Wangari lived, how she was able to summon the
strength she had when everything in her personal and professional life
was under attack.
waves crashed and the seagull squawked and old men threw in fishing
lines. The answers came from the sandpipers, who were 3, who repeatedly
ran towards the crashing waves and dug in the sand for worms. The
instant a wave crashed, they ran back to the shore ahead of it, and then
when the energy from the water could not move the water anymore, the
sandpipers ran back again, out towards the crashing waves. Again and
again and again and again.
I got back to my computer, I saw that Wanda had posted on my page a
video of Wangari talking about a huge fire in the forest, and all the
huge animals standing around ringing their hands, but the tiny
hummingbird scooped up a drop of water and dumped it on the fire,
returning again and again and again and again.
She said she was a
hummingbird, but I know she was a sandpiper, because she was not alone.
And I know she now is surrounded by a legion of angels, telling her she did
well, she came to earth naked and left it filled with her vision and her
love. Wangari Maathai will live for ever. We must always remember her.