The Whale Whisperer came to Earthseed and with her she brought an ocean-full of blessings. While I had seen her name in Undrowned (by Earthseed Founding Member Alexis Pauline Gumbs) it wasn’t until I read Michaela Harrison’s blog that I came to understand the medicine that she is bringing to this world. Yes, her voice is like molasses, but there are many people in this world who carry the gift of song. It is what Michaela chooses to do with her voice that was a blessing to me and to so many others (humans and beyond).
I will be forever grateful to Michelle Lanier (mother of Eden) for bringing her to this land. It makes sense that these powerful women would be connected. The first song she offered on the land was to our flock of chickens (and one rooster, Dave). They were captivated by her voice, as were we, the humans in her vicinity. After sitting and enjoying some ginger root tea (from our garden) I shared Earthseed’s origins story and then we walked the land.
The same bee that had been caressing Michaela’s hand while she had her tea, came along with us into the garden. She (the bee) somehow made her way into Michaela’s shirt, snuggled up near her heart. There was no panic, no urgent reactions, just a calm acknowledgment that the bee was there, and that she was safe. What else would you expected from a woman who preaches oneness with all beings? It was in that moment that I understood why Michaela’s presence was so powerful…she embodied light and shared it freely with all who crossed her path. It wasn’t just her voice that was medicine, it was her entire presence.
After walking through the sea of greens in our garden (collards and kale) we made our way to the Mother’s Grove. There I shared why we had designated this area as sacred and pointed out the circle of trees with double trunks. “Iyami” she said, or “my mother” in Yoruba, representing the feminine creative force in the universe. Justin had shared with us before that these trees, with their double trunks forming giant V’s boldly rising up to the sky, but it wasn’t until this moment that the medicine sunk in for me. [Side note: it is not surprising that in arborist (read: white male) terms they are considered a sign of weakness, the point where the two trunks connect sometimes being impacted by rot or disease].
We stood there for a moment, breathing deeply, taking in the magic of this moment. It felt like I was being anointed by the presence of these women, by the songs that Michaela would spontaneously share, by the acknowledgement of the divine feminine in our midst.
Michaela had this dream/vision of singing into a well, and here at Earthseed we have three. Two of them are functioning wells, not that pretty to look at with their metal pumps and awkward coverings symbolizing their utilitarian purposes. But there is an old well in the front of the property that hadn’t gotten much attention in years. Seen as a risk for the younger children —because of the possibility of them falling in and the probability of lead paint— it had been screwed shut and neglected.
Neither of these aspects deterred Michaela from transforming the moment and the spirit of this well. The three of us stood around the well, the fourth side left open to the setting sun and our children frolicking feely in the distance, as Michaela sang into the small opening she was able to find where the two doors covering the well met. Next to her sat the old bucket, with the long chain that descended into the depths of the well in previous decades. Michaela’s voice carried and reverberated through that small opening, amplifying the blessing of her voice and the medicine of her song.
After the vibrating dust particles settled, Michelle gifted Michaela a necklace with a small silver well pendant. To remember the moment and to remember the power of pursuing our visions. Never will I look at that well in the same way.
As we said our farewells, Michaela held my hands and said, “may your wells always be plenty, may you always have the water you need”.
Over the 5.5 years we’ve been on this land, we’ve gotten many visitors, often bringing blessings of love and affirmation. There are no words that can express the lingering power of these blessings or our gratitude. Stewarding the 48 acres of land we call Earthseed requires an incredible amount of commitment, follow-through, and work. Yet these are the moments that remind us why this work is so important, for us and for those who stop to catch a glimpse of the goodness of this vision come to life.
In our garden (from left to right): Michelle Lanier, Tahz Walker and Michaela Harrison