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Roots and Resilience...


When I was a little girl, one of my best friends was a tree. I used to climb up and sit and talk to her for hours. She was very alive to me, just like a person. My tree friend was a listener, a support, a safe place to be- she was a connection to something older and wiser that kept me grounded even with my feet dangling from her branches. I still love to climb trees. I admire them so, weathered and resolute, patient and tolerant, built to last...


This summer I traveled south with my son to revisit my roots. I spent time with my family and realized just how fortunate I am to have a network of support that reaches deep and wide throughout my life. My grandmother, Itala, had nine children which makes her the original super heroine in my books. She lived to be almost 101 years old, and at the end of her life she was as beautiful as a tree- wizened by the wind and rain, strengthened by her principles, gracious in her reach. She was a cult of the Virgin Mary Catholic, and the prayer that lasted longest on her lips was "Thy Will Be Done..."


As I am facing my own path through this forest of unknowns I have come to understand the profound power of acceptance. When we are willing to turn towards the shadows of our doubt, disappointment, and despair- we can begin to soften our resistance and cultivate our resilience. In fact, the "dirt" of our lives becomes the rich soil that will anchor our roots and feed our growth. When we begin from a place that embraces what is, then we are able to hope for what will become...


Root down. Rise up.




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Photography by Nisa Ojalvo