Most days, my home is downright, busy-crazy faced – insanity. Kids running, whining, driving, playing, eating, picking on, jumping, annoying, sleeping, primping, hiding, fighting, messing, brushing, and gamboozleing. And more usual than not, my mind functions about the same.
But other days, I get a flash of clarity. If only for a moment – my path seems clear. This happened yesterday as I was talking to my husband about another long, hard day at work. This wasn’t a new thing, by any means – we converse daily about the stressors of work and whatever latest catastrophe we may be facing – but all of a sudden, it just made sense. I am like a Banyan Tree. Have you ever seen a Banyan Tree? The one pictured above was taken in Maui, Hawaii last summer. What is amazing about this particular kind of tree, is that can fill full city blocks. One Banyan may look like a whole grove of trees, because a Banyan has many trunks. A single tree may have more than a thousand! A Banyan tree begins it’s life in the top of another tree. The banyan has bright red fruits that look like cherries. Birds and monkeys and fruit bats eat them. One of these animals may leave the seed of a fruit in the top of a palm tree. The seed sprouts. The baby tree sends a root down into the ground. Soon more roots grow down around the palm tree. The little banyan branches out fast.At last the palm tree dies and rots away. But by this time the banyan does not need the palm tree to hold it up.
As the banyan keeps on growing, roots grow down from its branches. They prop up the branches and carry water and minerals to the leaves. They grow to be trunks. The trunks of a big banyan tree in India were once measured. The biggest trunk was 13 feet across. There were 230 trunks between 2 and 3 feet across. There were 3,000 smaller trunks. Seven thousand people could stand under this one tree.
As a mother, I feel like I am the start of a banyan tree. I am the trunk of an amazing system of roots. The success of my family begins with my fortitude and growth – but over time, my branches spread out and become rooted themselves, relying on me for nourishment and love but wanting to become a unit in and of itself. It is important for me to stay grounded, I have lots of weight put on my shoulders and it has become increasingly important for me to sacrifice of myself – but as the stresses of life come in, I need to let the things go that I can’t control and focus on the things that I can. I am inundated daily by the frustrations of many children, friends, and co-workers and I could choose to be completely miserable – but I refuse. I’m not saying that I haven’t been depressed, because I have. The way that I don’t stay there when it is hard, is by focusing on the good in the world. There is always some kind of happiness going on around us, and when we can’t find it, it is even more important than normal to reach out beyond ourselves and serve.
I am so very grateful for my family, my root system of love and support. It began many generations ago, and will continue for years to come. Together we are stronger, and I wouldn’t choose it any other way. Today is Thanksgiving and I couldn’t have been luckier than to receive family pictures yesterday, that my cousin Mandy took of us at Maui last summer. (She is a FABULOUS on location photographer if you’re interested!) It was another reminder of the good. The day these pictures were taken, was hard – very hard. I know it looks like we were in paradise, because we were, but behind Jon and my eyes was a lot of pain. We all have days like this as married couples. We had been facing a very difficult situation in one of our businesses, where a man that we have loved for many years that worked for us, fell and almost died. It wasn’t our fault, actually way out of our scope of work that we do for our clients, but it happened on the job. We received the call while in Hawaii, and it crept into our little piece of heaven and the stress started ripping us apart from the core. You know how fights start, usually something that has nothing to do with anything – but they plant that seed of destruction just the same.
Obviously, we made it through it again. Our friend is still in critical care after many months, and we are helpless.
Life is fragile. It is short and fast. I pray that I will always keep life’s stresses in proper perspective. I pray that I can be like a banyan tree, supportive and stronger each year, because of my family and experiences. Happy Thanksgiving, my friends. Enjoy the insanity with your families today – for you never know what lies ahead. I love my family. They are the air that fills my soul and keeps my heart beating each day.
Have a Beautiful Thanksgiving Day with your families!
Hello! I am Camille, a wife, mother of four, Disney obsessed, certified teacher, and reality optimist. Motherhood comes with its ups and downs, and I hope while you’re here you’ll find something that makes your #momlife easier!
You’re amazing J. Love you.