I gathered my tobacco pouch and headed to the river. My heart felt heavy and my spirit was weighted down by the violence and loss I’d just heard on the news. Seeking a remedy for my sorrow and the wounding in our world, I began composing a Love Letter to Humanity in my mind. Calling to the remembering of who we really are. There’s so much more to us than the addiction to warring. Nobody fits inside the either/or categories we’ve made up about who’s better than or less; superior or inferior; love-able, beautiful, deserving of respect or not. How will we dismantle the walls around our hearts so we see ourselves, each other, and our earth with clear and loving eyes?

Despite my passion for healing and the unshakable knowing of the extraordinary gifts we’ve silenced, forgotten, and hidden away – writing a love letter to humanity is a rather presumptuous task. Humanity is really big, incredibly diverse, more immense and complex than my mind can wrap around. All the humans living now. All those who have gone before. All the generations to come. I don’t have enough words. Maybe words aren’t enough. And humanity isn’t something somewhere out there. I’m part of this living collective, a contributor, a co-creator, a participant in the whole. So who exactly was I writing a love letter to?

As I walked over the wooden bridge, it began to dawn on me that perhaps the remedy I was seeking was the rekindling of my own heart. To reawaken the vast expanse of my spirit. To feel and share my deep love for our earth and the earthlings. To root in connection and belonging. To remember who I am and why I am here.

How much wider can I open my embrace of unconditional acceptance and love? This quest is not about pretending, condoning, white-washing, or sugar-coating. Honoring what-is just as it is can be done all the while engaging in healing, transformation, and change. Acceptance doesn’t hold things in place. Seeing what-is just as it is can be a catalyst for awakening passions, weaving relationship, generating healing, igniting innovation.

I opened the gate and continued on through the grassy field. Dark clouds were gathering in the west. Thunder rumbled across the sky. Raindrops were fattening, falling faster, growing colder, pattering through the leaves of the cottonwood trees.

With each step through the showering rain, I realized that this was my love letter. Being here in this particular moment. Surrounded and saturated by the elements. Touching and being touched. Seeing and being seen. Embodying my human body while walking about on the earth. Following my heart to the river, through the storm, even though logic and fear would say to turn back.

Love can be written and shared with the universe in the vibration of our steps, in the feeling of aliveness, in giving and receiving along our many fibers of connection in the web of life.

Standing on the riverbank, I sprinkled my tobacco offering in the muddy, rain-splashed currents. Offering gratitude and love. Asking for help with healing. Greeting manaole u manaole, from my heart to the heart of our mother earth to your heart…
the heart of the river
the heart of the thunder, lightning, and rain
the hearts of friends and family across the miles
the hearts of ancestors and spirits through time and space
the heart of humanity, our hearts, each and every one.

The raindrops turned to hail, cascading into the river, drumming through the willow branches, bouncing on the soil. Thunder boomed overhead. Lightning crackled, careening wildly through the clouds. I was soaked to the bones, watching and listening, elated and shivering in the chilly shower of our summer monsoon.

This too was my love letter. Life loving life loving life.