Standing as sentry to a new world of ethical behaviour, she’s youthful, if not young; strong, determined and committed to helping asylum seekers be treated with the love they deserve.
The many shoes that were strewn at the entrance to my home this past week — with the exception of Zaki, Victor and myself — were the footwear of 14 women. All holding within themselves the strength of Artemis: the Goddess of, and the very symbol of action.
The presence of all these women gives proof to what Sharon Blackie writes about:
“I believe we need to find our way out of the Wasteland, and I believe that women hold the key.
While there is mutual respect between the two partners – between the goddess and the king, between the land and the people, between nature and culture, between feminine and masculine – then all is in harmony and life is filled with abundance. But when the contract is broken, the fertile land becomes the Wasteland. And so it is that today we find ourselves in an ailing world, cut off from our roots. So we find ourselves in a Wasteland of unbelonging; in the throes of a worldwide environmental crisis of our own making which threatens the existence of so many species on this planet.”
Sharon Blackie, author of If Women Rose Rooted
What’s not unusual about the above photo is that it shows the predominance of women doing the grassroot’s work of the world.
Whether environmental, social, economic or spiritual, the leading figures or gurus doing the talking — but not necessarily the walking — are usually men.
The real work, however, happening behind the scenes, out of the lime light and in cities across the globe is being done by young women, middle aged women, older women, mothers and grand-mothers.
Self promotion is not in their vocabulary. But service is. And transformation.
Astrid and Jill, who have facilitated Ecoevolutionaries Wildheartfulness Journeys several times at Windgrove, were present once again for a three day retreat for the coordinators of the Welcome Dinner Project for asylum seekers and the Joining the Dots NGO.
The flag iris pops out of the ground at this time of year. Its visual strength lies in the grouping of the collective. In many ways, we are all dots and somewhat insignificant, but as a whole we can affect great change.
And the endearing focus of this weekend was Zaki. A loving man. A courageous man. A sometimes fearing man. A hopeful man.
Zaki is/was from Afghanistan and fled to avoid being, not just persecuted, but executed. His arrival by boat is viewed by our two major political parties as “illegal” — which it isn’t — and his ability to remain in Australia is not guaranteed.
He is a more-than-shining-example of the good that refugees and immigrants can bring into a foreign country. His work ethic is enormous. His commitment to volunteer work is enormous. His heart is enormous.
Two weeks ago Zaki won the International Student of the Year Award. Being Muslim, he wouldn’t partake in the traditional bubbly. Instead, we popped open a non-alcoholic champagne and had an equally joyful celebration.
Women are at the forefront of most volunteer and social/environmental activist organisations. The ratio this past weekend was 14 women to 3 men. As Sharon Blackie hints at, women hold the key to bringing about change. My hope is that eventually many more men will join with them in bringing about this change.