Is There Still Time to Change with the Earth’s Help?


Dear friends, today a friend send me a copy of this letter written by Arkan Lushwala, a Peruvian spiritual leader connected to the Pachamama Alliance. This is an organization that was formed 20 years ago to halt the deforestation of the Amazon. He is the author of “Deer and Thunder — Indigenous Ways of Restoring the World.”  

I’ve been asked to share these wise and compassionate words. May they bring inspiration and hope to all who are suffering from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

We don’t know why the Earth took until now to find a way to protect herself from the damage caused by human activity. In a deep, primordial part of ourselves, many of us have been waiting for something like this to happen. Someone powerful and sacred had to intervene in order to stop the destruction of the sources of life. The Earth herself. Viruses are made by the Earth.

And now as humanity we are forced to make the sacrifice we couldn’t make from our own will.  Unfortunately and painfully, now the sacrifice goes beyond letting go of our comfort and the habits that lead to an excessive consumption of goods — not only the basic ones but also the ones that we consume in excess for mere pleasure. Unfortunately, now there is also a sacrifice of human lives.

With deep compassion for those who are suffering the loss of a loved one, or experiencing fear while laying on a hospital bed, and for all those who are having extremely difficult life conditions due to the current crisis, I have to say that the Earth is still being kind and gentle, that her way of defending herself could be much worse. That’s how moms are with their kids. Our Mother Earth must be suffering more than anyone while she is scolding us for not having changed when we could have, when there was still time for us to do it on our own.

Is there still time to change, with the Earth’s help?  Seeing the Earth do the work that we didn’t do, I say “yes.” This crisis is bringing a relief to nature. Were we are in Cusco right now, everything got quiet due to the mandatory quarantine, so Pachamama is not getting hit every single day as much as she did until four days ago, for a very long time, since the ramifications of the industrial revolution reached our sacred lands.  Today it’s really quiet out here, like it was in the time of the Inkas. The air smells really good, and you can feel the presence of the mountains, the river and the singing birds much stronger than the noise of the frenetic ways that we have for making a living in the modern world.

My feeling is that Pachamama wouldn’t be doing what she is doing right now unless there is time to change. The capacity that nature has to regenerate is extraordinary, extremely powerful, and in some cases surprisingly fast. But we have to listen. The Earth is telling us that the moment is now. She waited to act until now, so the time for the big change is now. While we are quiet at home, as children of the Earth, each one of us has the opportunity to listen to the big body we belong to, and decide how to participate in the change, how to adapt to it, what sacrifices to make for good, how to be happy with less material comfort and more community, more solidarity, and a much stronger connection to the sacredness of nature. She is our biggest ally, and the one we have been stepping on carelessly, without gentleness and respect, sometimes without even seeing her, our dear Mother, the only one that can give us everything we need.

Today I want to connect my heart to the heart of the Earth and be one with her, to understand with deep compassion what she is doing in order to keep life alive, instead of falling into the illusion that an enemy is trying to destroy me.

Today I am going to remember those who are having a hard time breathing under all this cement: viruses, bacteria, worms, roots, insects and tiny pieces of living soul, and I will let them know that I am here, quiet, listening and feeling.

Arkan Lushwala, from the Arawaka community

March 20, 2020

“All shall be well;  and all shall be well; and all manner of thing shall be well.” ~ Mother Julian of Norwich

Image credit:  Google images,

Jean Raffa’s The Bridge to Wholeness and Dream Theatres of the Soul are at Amazon. E-book versions are also at KoboBarnes And Noble and Smashwords. Healing the Sacred Divide can be found at Amazon and Larson Publications, Inc. Watch for her new book, The Soul’s Twins, to be launched in October of this year.


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10 Responses

  1. I Short, Arkan Lushwala nailed it! I was hiking with friends in the Little Big Econ a couple of days ago. Taking in all the sounds, senses, smells, and sights brings great respect to this place we live on called earth. When are we all going to honor it and do the right thing.
    Thanks for sharing Jean

    1. He nailed it alright! We’re lucky to still have some natural, more-or-less untouched areas around here to explore. But unfortunately, it usually takes a major crisis before we get motivated to make big changes to protect them. Thanks for writing. Be well. Jeanie

  2. Beautiful, thank you so much Jeanie for sharing this letter. These are the soulful words I needed to read today! I found myself nodding throughout and resonate deeply with that “waiting for something to happen” time he talks about. Oh, I sincerely hope there “is” still time for change as we choose to work with, and no longer against, our Divine Mother Earth and Her sacred feminine wisdom.
    The beauty, truth and compassion of Arkan’s letter inspires me to pull on my walking boots and head back out into nature. At this moment in my garden which is full of birdsong we’re entering the “golden hour” of light just before sunset and a beautiful song thrush sat high in a tree is singing his huge heart out!
    In pure synchronicity earlier I read that the poet Robert Frost once described “civilisation as a clearing in a dense dark forest” so apt I’m reflecting now, in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Love and light, Deborah.

    1. I, too feel inspired to go out for a walk. It’s only 1:50 in the afternoon here, and not too hot, so it’s a good time to absorb the beauty around me.
      He’s right about nature’s extraordinary capacity for regeneration. The only obstacles are human ignorance, greed, and complacency, and these are the the toughest ones of all to overcome. It’s so terribly sad that it takes a pandemic to wake us up.
      Thank you for sharing Frost’s definition of civilization. It’s perfect! Be well, Jeanie

  3. Thanks Jeanie for sharing – powerful words indeed. Just this morning I turfed a bowl of fruit clippings, salad things egg shells etc into the small composting thing I have – there were were wiggly squiggly small creatures in the bowl. At first I was a little bit alarmed but then I remembered this lowly creature, the worm, and gave thanks for them.

    1. Your composting efforts and respect for the worm bring a fond smile of familiarity to my face. It feels good. I used to do that with my horse’s poop and grass cuttings in my summers in the mountains. I enjoyed standing out there in my muck boots with a pitchfork and a hose to mix it up and water it down every once in a while. Our little garden never thrived more! Thanks for the memories, Susan. Be well.

  4. So do I, Gwynn. We’re fortunate to have the internet which can so easily spread important words like this in times of crisis. We must all do our part. I want my grandchildren to enjoy a clean and healthy planet!!!! And is peace on top of that too much to hope for?

  5. Thank you so much for this amazing piece Jean! For a while now I have been thinking about this virus and how destructive it is. Our world is in such a terrible state. So mother earth had to make a correction. I’m praying for all of us.

    1. It is an amazing piece! I’m glad you liked it. I read the other day that the deforestation in the Amazon doubled the cases of malaria because the mosquitoes thrive in sunshine. As long as their habitat was shady and moist they were controllable. This is just one example of how humanity is destroying our environment and bringing the terrible consequences down on us. We can stop it. We must. ?

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