La Llorona and the Dark Green Religion of Hope by Sara Wright

Picture of Sara Wright standing outside in natureI recently returned to Maine after what can only be called a harrowing journey from the Southwest. Grateful to feel beloved earth under my feet, I walk along the pine strewn woodland paths to keep myself sane. My animals have been ill, my neighbor was hospitalized briefly, other neighbors deliberately destroyed my garden wall crushing a baby balsam, and used this property as their personal ski slope, the threat of the C/virus looms – there are no words to describe this kind of exhaustion. As a PTSD survivor all my senses are on permanent scream. The simplest task has become monumental. And I am only one of so many…

Each day I attempt to feel gratitude for what is good in my life.

Momentary peace is found in the Dark Green Religion of Hope that I experience walking under every balsam, lichen, wet leaf, deciduous tree, listening to chickadees, phoebes, juncos, and finches, meandering along the swollen brook – Just to see clear mountain waters rushing to the sea reminds me that Nature’s rhythms are my own, and that most of the time I am not breathing with her – unless I take these walks. Somewhere along the way over these last weeks I have lost access to my body (PTSD).

Two days ago we had a spring snow and someone took a picture of me coming up from the brook – I instantly recognized the figure – not as myself but as La Llarona, Weeping Woman. In the southwest La LLarona haunts the rivers at night. What I didn’t expect was to find her here along the brook, weeping under the bowed evergreens, falling as wet spring snow.

All Nature is in mourning for what humans have done to harm the Earth, and now even privileged Americans are under threat of dying from a virus that we have brought upon ourselves….

Recently, I received this message from co-editors Lise Weil and Kristin Flyntz. I feel compelled to pass it on to you…As I have said so often Nature is Speaking – What will it take for us to start listening?

“I want to share this message from COVID 19 that came through my Dark Matter collaborator Kristin Flyntz. I hope it is not understood in any way to minimize the fear and suffering so many humans are experiencing at this time..” Lise Weil.

Just stop.
It is no longer a request. It is a mandate.
We will help you.
We will bring the supersonic, high speed merry-go-round to a halt
We will stop
the planes
the trains
the schools
the malls
the meetings
the frenetic, furied rush of illusions and “obligations” that keep you from hearing our
single and shared beating heart,
the way we breathe together, in unison.
Our obligation is to each other,
As it has always been, even if, even though, you have forgotten.
We will interrupt this broadcast, the endless cacophonous broadcast of divisions and distractions,
to bring you this long-breaking news:
We are not well.
None of us; all of us are suffering.
Last year, the firestorms that scorched the lungs of the earth
did not give you pause.
Nor the typhoons in Africa,China, Japan.
Nor the fevered climates in Japan and India.
You have not been listening.
It is hard to listen when you are so busy all the time, hustling to uphold the comforts and conveniences that scaffold your lives.
But the foundation is giving way,
buckling under the weight of your needs and desires.
We will help you.
We will bring the firestorms to your body
We will bring the fever to your body
We will bring the burning, searing, and flooding to your lungs
that you might hear:
We are not well.

Despite what you might think or feel, we are not the enemy.
We are Messenger. We are Ally. We are a balancing force.
We are asking you:
To stop, to be still, to listen;
To move beyond your individual concerns and consider the concerns of all;
To be with your ignorance, to find your humility, to relinquish your thinking minds and travel deep into the mind of the heart;
To look up into the sky, streaked with fewer planes, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, smoky, smoggy, rainy? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy?
To look at a tree, and see it, to notice its condition: how does its health contribute to the health of the sky, to the air you need to be healthy?
To visit a river, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, clean, murky, polluted? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy? How does its health contribute to the health of the tree, who contributes to the health of the sky, so that you may also be healthy?
Many are afraid now. Do not demonize your fear, and also, do not let it rule you. Instead, let it speak to you—in your stillness, listen for its wisdom. What might it be telling you about what is at work, at issue, at risk, beyond the threat of personal inconvenience and illness?
As the health of a tree, a river, the sky tells you about quality of your own health, what might the quality of your health tell you about the health of the rivers, the trees, the sky, and all of us who share this planet with you?

Stop. Just stop.
Be still.
Ask us what we might teach you about illness and healing, about what might be required so that all may be well.
We will help you, if you listen.


La Llorona weeps for us all.


Sara is a naturalist, ethologist ( a person who studies animals in their natural habitats) (former) Jungian Pattern Analyst, and a writer. She publishes her work regularly in a number of different venues and is presently living in Northern New Mexico.

Author: Sara Wright

I am a writer and naturalist who lives in a little log cabin by a brook with my two dogs and a ring necked dove named Lily B. I write a naturalist column for a local paper and also publish essays, poems and prose in a number of other publications.

17 thoughts on “La Llorona and the Dark Green Religion of Hope by Sara Wright”

  1. That is a mind-bending, mind-blowing message! But it’s good to read it because we probably all need to stop and listen. I first learned about La Llorona when I read Women Who Run with the Wolves.

    Brightest blessings to us all! We need blessings when things around us are really awful.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, Kristin’s message needs to be heard, I am afraid. Even now with the pandemic spreading we are considering opening up states for business as usual – this kind of thinking/doing will bring more disaster down upon our heads…

      What is it going to take for us to get it?

      These are dark times…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sara, thank you for this heartbreaking and beautiful post. I had been hoping you would post this week. I wanted to tell you about my beloved friend, a three hundred year old Great White Oak, who fell last Sunday. I know you understand this love and grief. My heart is with you, too.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh no, I feel heartbreak for you at the loss of of your beloved friend… I am so sorry… and I bet I am not the only one that wants to hear the story…. some beautiful writing could come out of your grief…sometimes that’s the ONLY thing that helps me cope.

      Perhaps you could take a piece of her to make something or to simply honor your relationship with her?

      I send you loving tree thoughts…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you, Sara. Here is a little of the story and a little of seven years of writing, a sort of eulogy:

        The Great White Oak, who grew from an acorn to live over three hundred years, fell on May 3, 2020 a little before noon. There had been days of rain, and the tree was sending water to the new leaves. The huge boughs were likely too heavy for the hollow base to support.

        When we were looking for a house in Spring 2013, the real estate agent pulled up to the end of the long driveway. I looked out the window of the passenger seat and saw an enormous tree. I got out of the car and walked straight to the tree. That was my first encounter with the great white oak. Since we moved here in September 2013 that tree has been at the heart of our lives.

        Below are two poems: one a thank you letter written in 2015, the other part of a poem written after the tree fell.

        Dear Great White Oak Tree

        Thank you for living another year
        when you’ve lived so long
        you are hollowed in some places
        your branches twist and meander
        rivers in the sky
        I loved you at first sight
        love you still
        thank you for calling me
        to this place
        and if you didn’t call
        just stood and astonished me
        thank you.

        from Great Tree

        I sat in your hollow yesterday
        in the coolness of your hollow
        the wind blew through you
        your sawdust shimmered in a shaft of light
        bees, maybe honey bees,
        shared your hollow with me.
        it is beginning
        this end is beginning

        Liked by 3 people

        1. O Elizabeth, these words are so beautiful… “rivers in the sky.”… and reflect your deep abiding love for that tree – to lose her is to lose part of you and now you will be watching for how she begins again in a new form – still – first is the grief…

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Thank you, Sara! I know you know this love for a beloved tree. Yes, first the grief


  3. Yes, in time of Covid-19 Mother Earth is surely given thanks that we stop, but I think we need to continues do it. In several Latinamerican countries there is the legend of La Llorona, who is a woman weeping for the lost of her children.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The problem is it doesn’t seem as if we are learning… it seems like all we want to do is to get back to “normal” – here in Maine one bar and grill opened up in our area against govt regulations and was shut down, license suspended – and now he’s re opened anyway… he says he’ll garner support for paying the hefty fines by getting other businesses behind him…it’s this kind of thinking/doing that I find terrifying.

      The story of La Llorona is common in the southwest and it portrays woman as a mother who kills her children because she lost her lover – My belief is is that this Spanish story is twisted by woman hatred and blame…

      And in truth it is a story with a bigger message involving mother grief – living by the river in Abiquiu NM some mornings I thought I could see and hear her in the mist weeping for the earth…


  4. thank you, Sara! I am so glad I discovered this publication and all the wonderful stories and articles. Certainly La Llorona would be weeping deeply now for not just hers but all the children and grown ones who are dying or suffering right now. you’ve captured this so beautifully.

    and Kristin’s message from the virus is loud, clear and spot on. if we don’t listen, we will pay dearly. We have time, but not much…sadly, many want to go in the opposite direction and are willing to fight about it. so we who hold the earth and her sacred but fragile life so vitally get to stand in what we know and speak out.

    You mentioned are wise warrior, Clarissa Pinkola Estes. these of her words come to mind here:

    “One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.

    Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.”

    May we show our souls in all their slender and catching and sharing light together make a humongous difference all over the globe.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love these words of Estes “to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.”

    Some days I struggle to do either and we must.

    As for FAR – well – there is no other site like it – I am so pleased to be a contributor… Every morning I read through the day’s offering! It’s become part of my morning writing…


  6. Sara, I have been so traumatized by my struggle with Covid and the horror all around us that I can’t even engage it much. I had to skim your post. I can’t read most things or go online much. I know I am also in PTSD, and I am only waiting until my body is fully recovered to do some EMDR about my own trauma of these past weeks. I honor your work here, and your grief, and your courage. These are times that require all we have to give and more. I receive a lot of strength from you and your work. I bless you and pray for your continued healing and wellness and strength. You bless us all. <3


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