AR4 Photography


By Nicole Inica Hamilton 

The virtue, state, and spirit of love has always been compelling to me. If I could speak from my heart space alone, the nature of love’s beauty when it embodies peace, and compassion, is where I’ve experienced its most healing, and virtuous fullness.   

As I write this love letter, it’s in this space, that I’m cognizant of the community which has wrapped me in the fullness of the love I speak of.  

When I began to learn about the historical roots of the philosophy of Ubuntu from mentors, the discussion of ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’ was taught to me with great passion and intensity. My mentors shared that Ubuntu speaks to the concept of common humanity, oneness: you and me both, and that this African proverb, concept, and way of being, encapsulates within its many qualities, the belief that we are all interconnected.  When one of us suffers, it affects us all.  

Those who have heard my shares over the years in conversation spaces, will know that I often speak about the spirit of love, and the reciprocal conversations that occurred from within my Mother’s womb. I’ve meditated upon this with great wonder throughout my life. The notion that long before my birth in the physical, I was learning about the potential of spiritual connection, relationships, holistic care, and the offerings of fellowship within community. 

As I reflect upon the many intersections of love and community, I’m mindful of the words that have been shared with me by one of my mentors. The founder of dance Immersion, Vivine Scarlett. Her brilliant reminder to me for nearly two decades has been, “You can’t do this alone.” The scope of this truth has ignited many beautiful revelations for me. Among many, when this knowledge is recognized, there is opportunity to lean into relationship building, collaboration, connection, and the great potential for genuine love; One heart to another, within community. 

This knowledge has been a space of growth. One that I’m grateful to have learned from Vivine, and spaces like dance Immersion. This learning opportunity has been invigorating, as I’ve explored within, and outside of the dance Immersion walls, questions that implore us to consider; How do we engage, empower one another, acknowledge histories, traditions, and lived experiences, with love at the center of community? As Vivine has generously shared. I, (And we) can’t do this alone. 

In the spaces that I have navigated, and the practices that I have had the blessing to occupy in this life journey, I’ve held many roles.  Dancer, singer, educator, mental health counsellor, speaker, radio host, sister, daughter, friend… There are more that I could share, but among these roles that I hold today, at the core of each are practices that are driven by my curiosity of love. How we extend it within community, and how we embrace it within ourselves. This curiosity is where I find joy, and peace. A joy that my Mother, the great Juliet Eastlyn Brereton-Hamilton, often encouraged me to live within. 

As the years progress, I’m mindful of the need for holding each other. The need for our spiritual care. The need for community. The need for organizations like dance Immersion that challenge us to love, and to dream. 

Within the ethos of the dream space, there’s potential to think beyond the limits that are often placed upon us. Bianca L. Rodriquez describes the power of daydreaming as an exercise of the mind. Because we are rarely taught to allow our minds to wander. It’s like only tending to one tree in a gigantic forest. And therefore, daydreaming allows our minds to zoom out, and see the whole forest which creates a different perspective and invites creativity. 

As I move forward in these curiosities, loving, praying, dreaming, and seeking within community, I return to the philosophy of Ubuntu, and these words from Nelson Mandela that have blessed me greatly: 

“In the old days when we were young, a traveler through a country would stop at a village, and he didn’t have to ask for food or for water: once he stops, the people give him food, entertain him.  That is one aspect of Ubuntu, but it will have various aspects.  Ubuntu does not mean that people should not enrich themselves.  The question therefore is are you going to do so in order to enable the community around you and enable it to improve?  These are the important things in life. And if one can do that, you have done something important which will be appreciated.” 


With passionate love to all, Nicole Inica Hamilton