LONG LIVE LOVE FOUNDATION & THEIR SERENITY HEALING GARDEN
This week we consider the idea of mental health and our gardens from an even more poignant perspective. In the wake of the recent Uvalde and then Oklahoma gun violence deaths and tragedies, I wish this was not such a timely episode, but it is.
I am joined this week in conversation by Gabrielle Chanel El, Chanae Pickett, and Ezekiel McCarter - founders of the Long Live Love Foundation.
Following the traumatic deaths of Gabrielle’s husband and Chanae and Zeke’s father, the Reverend David McCarter in 2011, and Gabrielle’s eldest son and Chanae and Zeke’s brother, Immanuel several years later, their very personal and lived mission is to support survivors and victims of traumatic violence in part through the solace, sanctuary, and community of a public healing serenity garden in West Oakland, California.
For more information on the foundation garden, other work and upcoming events including Juneteenth events, please see longlivelovefoundation.com.
The Annual Apollo Carter Celebration is this weekend Sunday the 12th . We have been preparing for this and this is so needed for community healing.
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JOIN US again next week, when in preparation for Juneteenth, we’re in conversation with a Maryland -based gardener, garden historian and podcaster Teresa J. Speight. The founder and president of the Jabali Amani Garden Collective, a garden club for African American Women, Teri’s new book out from Bloom! Imprint is BLACK FLORA – a gorgeous look into transformative humans of color at work with flowers! Bloom imprint is a sister endeavor to the Slow Flowers Society who are hosting their annual Slow Flowers Summit in person this year at the Stone Barns Center at the end of June in upstate New York. Click the link to the Society for information on how to register.
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF LongLiveLoveFoundation.com. Photos by Bethanie Hines.
Thinking out loud this week:
Ahhh the gardening metaphor response was so great – thank you everyone who wrote in with thoughts. They were all so insightful and thought provoking – and personal. From joy, resilience, to existential transcendence the conversation regarding all the gifts of the garden is meta or quantum gardening at its richest.
Shout out to Doug, Molly, Peggy, Jimmy and Carly for their notes – they have a copy of Flora Forager’s Fairy Garden journals heading their way…..
It was poignant to hear from Zeke about the message/metaphor/reminder he received and continues to receive from the garden through some of the hardest of life’s lessons on loss and tragedy at the hands of humanity’s lesser rather than greater angels. When he said “At this time and always gardens and plants and really nature as a whole has been a parallel to a gentle reminder of growth - plants and gardens are very tender but resilient, they endure a lot of conditions and climates and it’s just a reminder to me personally to continue growing, continue evolving and continue shining all our colors.”
Continue growing and healing and continue shining all of our colors garden friends.
May we grow and shine.
WAYS TO SUPPORT CULTIVATING PLACE
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