2021 started with icy rain. The intensity of the rain seemed to have it’s greatest impact on the the trees around our house. They were full of ice. Almost all the tree crown turned into ice. As I looked at them, I couldn’t help but imagine how trees survive freezing, icy rain. It’s probably the same way I survived being a working mother to three homeschooled children in the middle of a pandemic. We were all covered with ice.
On any given day, trees that are healthy prior to the start of winter are more likely to survive freezing or icy rain and recover more quickly compared to unhealthy trees. These trees also have to be prepared to acquire or mobilize sufficient resources especially following injuries such as from freezing icy rain, otherwise they may literally die. Let me repeat the again, for myself too. Without resources at hand, resources mobilized or gathered before, maybe during, and after the experience of any stressful events, trees may literally die.
Motherhood for me in 2020 was an accumulation of all sorts of resources, mobilized to help me sustain and survive the silence, the stress, even the stillness of being a working parent in the middle of a pandemic. Books, all sorts of books helped as well as active participation in homeschooling. This was a huge priority given my children are under 8 years of age. Then there were prayers, all sorts of prayers, but especially psalm 91 and 121. Isaiah 43 made me stand in awe of my maker. The idea that when I pass through deep waters, he would be there, made me feel so deeply loved and precious. That and giving up Egypt, Ethiopia and Seba (maybe present day Eritrea) to save me, got me through a very tough year.
Now and because of their size and in preparation for winter, most trees accumulate most of their resources ahead of time and mobilize them during periods of stress. The probability of survival depends on a trees’ access to resources. So to was motherhood for me. That I survived 2020 intact, is because I know whose I am, come freezing ice or rain. Nikki Giovanni once stated that ‘once you know who you are, you don’t have to worry any more.’ Like trees who survive freezing, icy rain, 2020 reminded me of the author of my life, the one who started the journey, whose I am. It helped me mobilize the resources necessary to survive the most crucial test and struggle of a lifetime, being a mother, a homeschool teacher, all while working in academia. That I survived intact is because like trees, I focused on my resources, especially what mattered the most to me. In the New Year, keep being like trees, especially and during icy rainy days. Begin to mobilize the resources that matter to you, accumulate all of them and prepare to survive whatever the year has in store for you on your own terms, in your own way.