Ancient Wisdom

Maybe you’re like me.I’m finding that any form of media, social or otherwise is making me anxious in this post-election climate. I don’t trust that our incoming American government is a government for all Americans.

I’m feeling less and less safe.

That drive to feel safe in an ever changing world is a pretty normal part of being human. This is a pretty natural cycle of human evolution. My grandparents, both holocaust survivors, lived through their version of these shadows. Strife and struggle, conquerors these are old stories, not new ones.

Living through it though, that’s new for us. These are stories made for history books when many of us hoped to write a chapter in HERstory. Does it make you feel all the anxious feelings?

Yeah, me too.

That’s why I took to the woods that morning. I was feeling lost. I was seeking wisdom that I wasn’t sure I’d find in any traditional place of research.

So my dog, Tova, and I wandered deep into the forest. And then we came upon her.

Wise and wondrous. I took my time walking around her. I slowed down and read the story that was etched into her wooden bones.

It was ancient wisdom she shared with me. Stories about growth and resilience and rooting in, even when she struggled with something rotten in her own core.  

Her branches above were strong and still held onto some leaves that had turned with the autumn frost but hadn’t yet been shed in the winter wind. She held herself up wide and strong. A powerful presence. “I stand here.” Her roots ran deep on 3 sides. Her trunk intergrated what seemed to be many separate parts of herself.

On one side, she was damaged,  deformed and yet, upon closer examination, she offered a home to another forest creature.

She was all these things at once.

I sat near her, with my dog, and took in this majestic matriarch. She shared with me what I needed to hear.

I was feeling frantic prior to this walk and I wrestled with an impulse to flee this country. But she showed me something within myself I had forgotten. My resilience.


Her message was clear, we don’t need to run. We can stand strong and tall and weather the world. We are a part of this delicate ecosystem and we have a role to play as protectors.

It’s time to protect the values of equality and inclusion that are under siege in this country and around the world.

It's not time to isolate and uproot ourselves. No. We root in. We don't let fear of the elements take hold and knock us down. We trust in our ecosystem. We will weather this storm.

That's the audacity of hope.

Even our rot serves this delicate but resilient ecosystem, providing shelter to a vulnerable friend. We are stronger together.