PachamamaWhen we began calling in the mothers that would become The Mother’s Wisdom Deck, Pachamama was among the first we named. Since my days as an art historian, I have always loved the images of Pachamama (and her colonial Virgin counterparts) shaped like a mountain, skirts teeming with life. I fell head over heels for her in Peru where I could feel her presence throughout the Andes and in despacho rituals for giving thanks. For me, she is our mother; her body is our world.

Machu PicchuLast week, my family and I escaped our unusually warm winter to Kauai. Though she goes by a different name in this Pacific paradise, the life-giving feminine permeates the very air in Hawaii. There her form is supple, abundant, fragrant—pure aloha that called us out to commune with the flora and fauna for a few (too few) glorious days. You cannot help but love and feel loved by the beauty of that land.

KauaiThe Na Pali coast is among a precious few places on earth where humans must come on foot to pay their respects to the earth mother. There is even one totally inaccessible crater said to be the umbilicus of the world where Pachamama exists for her wild children alone; us two-legged children can only admire her belly button from afar. How can anyone come to Hawaii and not be overcome with conviction to honor the earth so that she may continue to exist in this pristine, wild state?

We met one local beachcomber who comes daily to the best shell beach not to collect rare specimens but rather to pick up all the small pieces of plastic that wash ashore. We joined his dedicated search. Conversely, we also learned that huge tracts of the island are being leased out to GMO seed companies. Huge sigh. When will we learn? And, more importantly, how can we teach our children to truly love this world?