Documenting these moments in between nature’s seasons, I found myself seeking places of light and water. What can be learned from seasons of change? What can be received in the waiting? In the spiritual wilderness is a dichotomy — a deep desire for change to come soon and also the call to slow down. The tide residually arrives. Trees quietly grow. The seed that is planted seems to hardly sprout. Yet this return to the quiet, slowness of nature is a lesson.
Warmth leaves my side during the colder seasons. Dominant oppressive systems have a way of conceiving despair. The light flickers like a vigil for another act against humanity, another Asian American woman, against another community, another, another, another. How long will it take for change to come? Embodied processes such as crying, holding, walking — without knowledge of arrival are the spaces of waiting that I find the hardest to be. Yet, these are necessary. Despair is not forever. In the space of grief is also a place for rest. The sunlight pours through again, giving life to what was dormant. The beauty of creation, is an invitation to be still in the lasting truth of change.
Learn from quiet earth
Form slowly / sowing change
Hands with cracked knuckles
crescent shaped lines in the palm
collect light and rain
Clench sharp edged stone
stretch out your hands
to carry water / hold the flame
you do not have to make any promises
you do not have to be good
only have to open your eyes to
the mystery of chance and change
These are lasting truths
these are budding leaves / welcoming
inviting both water and warmth
Creator speaks in the wild of things
Creation gives freely as if to say
You belong in this place.
Hannah Villanueva is a Filipina and Puerto Rican photographer and filmmaker who grew up in the backwoods of Alaska. Her work is focused on surrounding environments and nature as places of vitality and spiritual restoration. Outside of photography, she enjoys Muay Thai boxing and is pursuing a BA in Anthropology. She is currently residing in Seattle, Washington (Duwamish land).