Roving reporter Nicola spoke to sustainable fashion designer and poet Catherine Archer from her neighbourhood park in Playa del Carmen about the creation of her poem “Mother Earth is Calling You.” It was inspired by Cenote, a natural sinkhole deep in the Kuyabeh jungle of the Yucatán Peninsula.
What inspired me to write the poem went beyond the Cenote itself. With a lot of adventures and experiences you don't realize until later how they impact you.
It came to me that night. I like to believe that nature interacts with us in ways we don't fully understand. Of course, it was also the energy of that magical place that I had picked up on.
Feeling the presence of the ancestors
When I went deep into the jungle to find the Cenote, I was reflecting on how in a changing world it’s so easy for many of us to take things for granted. We become apathetic to our current environment. We don't appreciate where we've come from or where we're going. We don’t ask the big questions. And that really infuriates me because it means we're doing a disservice to our individual and collective futures.
Being grateful for all the people who come before is a huge motivator for me. It infuses everything I do and have done in my life.
In that incredible natural formation, I could literally feel the presence of the ancestors. As if the Cenote itself was speaking to me. Telling me all it had experienced. “Look how many walks of life have passed through here before you.” So many people’s lifetimes have existed before me. How many ancestors do we each have to be here now? As I say in the poem, countless people’s sweat and tears came before us. We’ve no idea what's ingrained in our DNA. At the same time, when we sit alone in nature, we can feel the presence and power of our own being.
An entire feeling was liberated in me
The poem just poured out of me. There was no need for me to compose. The words left my head, all in a sequence. The rhythm that I picked up on, seemingly out of nowhere, in the form of exclamations that framed my feelings. It’s when I go, “How cowardly! How righteous!” It wasn't desperation. It wasn’t amazement. It was all of the above. I felt humbled and in awe.
Catherine speaks inspired by planet earth
That's why the butterfly is prominent in this poem because it symbolizes freedom for me. Exclamations again, “How ephemeral!” “How transient!” “How quickly that comes and goes!”
Self-expression for me, like true freedom, is being able to speak my voice without squelching my emotions. Then being able to act on how I feel and what I have to say, without questioning.
Mother Earth is Calling You was created by
Catherine Archer who is currently designing her next naturally dyed, biodegradable womenswear collection. Catherine loves experiencing the unexpected details of nature: butterfly cocoons cracking open, sunlight pouring over mountaintops, turtles laying their eggs on moonlit shores.
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Catherine was invited by Nicola Gale after a conversation about the joy of re-discovering heartfelt places from her childhood in Mexico.
⤷ What’s next
Nicola would love to meet an artist who exhibits their creations in forests and other natural settings.