Answering the Call

During an unusually hot Toronto summer, I was scheduled to do a musical tour in Asia, but kept having a recurring dream of lying on ice while a great blue whale swam below. Unable to ignore the summons, I told Rishi, my music manager (and now husband), that I needed to postpone my tour and perform instead at the North Pole to raise awareness of the melting Arctic ice.

Government officials warned us not to go because the ice was melting quickly, which led to fog and plane crashes. It was also too soft for a safe landing. In addition, they said we faced danger from military activity, as countries jockeyed to claim territory in the Arctic. And then there was the cost of the trip. How would I manage it as an independent musician?

At the same time, I was increasingly—and painfully—aware of the feverish distress of the Earth. I had a voice. I needed to use it for the greater good. I needed to go.

But in my morning meditations before we left, I kept seeing our small plane going down in flames. I shared this with Rishi and our friend Sunanda, who was accompanying us as a production assistant. We jointly decided we were ready to make the trip.

One of the first people who came forward to support us was Darcy. He immediately offered his TV producer skills to coach Rishi on handling a video camera to document the journey.

On our way to the North Pole, in a remote High Arctic village, I was greeted by two Inuit elders who said, “You are the one who has come to do healing for the Earth. We knew you were coming—the whale told us.” In that moment, I knew we were part of something vast and purposeful beyond our understanding. Nature’s intelligence works through us, if we are willing to listen.

The night before the last leg of our journey, our pilot told us we might not get to the North Pole, due to poor weather. We asked everyone back home for prayers to help us complete our mission. Darcy’s response was emblematic of the group: “I knew this was big. You can count on us.”

The next morning, we called the pilot who said, stunned, that the area was unclear all around where we wanted to go—except for one strip, exactly where we were scheduled to land. At the top of the world I sang four songs in the northernmost musical performance ever, then offered prayers for the planet.

With Darcy’s media expertise, he knew we needed to tell the world about my North Pole journey, even before I got back. He guided Rishi and me, and our friends and supporters, to boost the signal on social media.

Upon our return, we carried out a media campaign. Darcy got to work gathering footage and developing the first paper edit for a documentary film about the importance of the trip, and of the Arctic Ocean to our world.

Today, the story is still being told. People increasingly understand that something is terribly wrong with our shared home. The linchpin of the planet’s ecological balance, the Arctic sea ice, is breaking, and under threat as never before.

In November 2014, I was deeply disturbed to learn of plans for seismic testing to take place in Canada’s Arctic waters. I knew I could not let this happen. Darcy was one of the first people I called to join me and become a founding member of Parvati.org. His response? “I’m all in.”

By Parvati, Founder and CEO, Parvati.org