Life and the Tree


Costa Rican Rainforest, Cleveland Botanical Gardens.
Photo by Barbara Mattio

A while ago, I wrote a blog called “For She is the Tree of Life” and it was dedicated to my grandmothers and all of the grandmas, nanas, bubes and the gifts they gave us as we shared their wisdom while at play with them, or while finishing a chore or just talking together. Their stories were magical and took some of us to other countries, for some the stories were pictures of love and loss. Other stories showed us how much strength and courage we could find inside of ourselves if we looked for it. They made us feel important and unique and cherished.

Well, now we are the grandparents. We are the ones who have lived long enough to be wise crones. We have watched wars and famine. We have seen oppression and tyranny. It is our turn to share our visions, stories and to encouraged them to be deeply rooted in our Mother Earth.

Our grandchildren will face many storms and will know fear as well as joy. They will sob with grief and they will cheer with jubilation. We need to make sure all of them — I have nine — will know how to draw strength and wisdom and courage up from the earth when it is needed. They will need to know it is the love we share, the compassion we show, the forgiveness we give to others that really counts. Not which job we have, or where the kids go to school. As grandparents, we can teach them to care, to vote, to accept responsibility for their actions. We can help expose them to the events in life that will sculpt their own lives. We need to teach them to stop injustice, help to feed the poor, work to help the world’s refugees, for among them, there could be the next Mozart, or John Lennon, or Bob Marley or Monet. We need to teach them never to settle, to reach for the stars and grasp a hold on their favorite and never let go!

I celebrate my opportunity to be a tree of life for the little ones. I celebrate your opportunity whether it is now or later on. It is a gift.

Marblehead Lighthouse, Ohio, Photo by Barbara Mattio

6 thoughts on “Life and the Tree

  1. What a truly inspiring post Barbara, as a grandmother myself.. Bravo to your words and teachings.. May those little ones listen well to the Crones of this world..
    ~Sue

  2. Karen Wan says:

    I’m not a grandmother yet, but I love the way you describe grandparents as being the Tree of Life. I will share this image with my mother, who I know will love it! :)

  3. crownpendant says:

    Ditto!!!! a hundred times over! As a grandmother of six and a great-gran of one……you have just written of the best gifts we can ever give them.

  4. tersiaburger says:

    I am too the grandmother of 9 and loved your blog!!! It is the most amazing feeling in the world and I too revel in being the wise tree of life to them! Thank you for this beautiful post.

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