Monday, September 18, 2017

Broken Tree Rises from the Ashes


The Callery Pear tree, known as the Survivor Tree after suffering detrimental damage from September 11th, was discovered and freed from the piles of smoldering rubble in the plaza of the World Trade Center in October 2001. The tree, originally planted in the 1970’s in the vicinity of buildings four and five in the World Trade Center complex near Church Street, was transferred with lifeless limbs, snapped roots and blackened trunk to the Arthur Ross Nursery in the Bronx. There, it was nursed back to health and grew to a height of 30 feet tall with new branches and new foliage, which blossomed every year with beautiful flowers even though is not a fruit bearing three. It is now back at the Memorial in downtown Manhattan where it has since survived Hurricane Sandy.

So, where do we get our inspiration? It is a song, a poem, a story of another’s life experience or might it be a tree whose determination to live was stronger than any outside force that might have brought it down had it given up its spirit? And where did this tree get the help it needed to ensure the support required to survive? It didn’t just get up after a while and start growing again. It needed help and there were loving, supportive, people who cared enough about this tree to give it that support. It took pruning away of the old and growing the new to give it renewed life which, over the years, has provided inspiration to many who are struggling.


Like the Callery Tree, we too have a loving and supportive Source whom we can go to when we are under the rubble, damaged and scarred but yet filled with the perseverance to survive. Always under the watchful eye of our Creator, we swim in and through life’s waters and ride those crests taking us up and down causing us to wonder where we are being led and upon which shores we will land. Sometimes it’s easy, most times it’s not but there is never a time in which we are alone. 
Source: The Endless River, Pink Floyd Album Cover, 2014
It may seem that way sometimes because we don’t have something tangible to touch. In reality, though, God is always walking with us, steering us, sometimes loudly, and at other times gently while asking us to just listen and wait. It’s during these times when the seas are rough and the rains seems relentless that we need to remember that all is in Divine Order. And if we trust that which we know to be true, have faith when floundering and know there is no time when we are not divinely sustained, divinely provided for, divinely loved, divinely guided and divinely protected, then treading the waters will be much easier while basking in the sun’s rays sent to sooth us during our desert times.



Sunday, September 10, 2017

LaGuardia takes New York by Storm

Will we do the same in the corner of our world?

Several years ago, the spirit of Fiorella LaGuardia burst alive at an off-Broadway theater, in upper Manhattan, in the personage of actor Tony Lo Bianco.  

This play, "The Little Flower," was not only a lesson in history, but a definite reminder that those who wage battles against the odds and succeed are not only to be remembered for their accomplishments, but are to be emulated.  LaGuardia knew he wanted to serve in spite of personal tragedy and many other challenges.  He lived by the words ‘patience and fortitude’ to keep going and he learned, as did Abraham Lincoln, that it was imperative to study and learn in preparation for what he hoped to accomplish.  That preparation is the first step to actually getting there. 

LaGuardia knew it was not enough to just desire, he had to do everything possible to reach the people he wanted to serve even if it meant learning eight languages. So, when it was time to run for office, he was able to communicate with the people in the districts he was running in.  

First time out he lost; second time out he won and this at a time when Tammany Hall was running New York with more power and influence than anyone could buckle.  Over the years, the 5’2” LaGuardia became a force to be reckoned with and, with a voice loud and clear, he earned himself title of mayor of New York City.  Determination guided him as he said “when you are fed up, sign up.”  Only certain things were allowed under his rule, everything else had to go.  He didn’t concern himself about people knowing him, he compelled them to know him.

By Fred Palumbo, World Telegram staff photographer -
Library of Congress. New York World-Public Domain,
LaGuardia, as many before him, knew that history repeated itself.  Looking back, we’ve had  good leaders and their attempts to make this a better world.  Sometimes they succeeded, sometimes they were destroyed – literally and figuratively.  Likewise, we have suffered bad leaders and the destruction wrought by their rule.  In all cases, though, there were always lessons left behind for us to learn from.

So now, will we grab hold of the torch as it is passed to us or will be let someone else do it?  Will we seize the opportunities and open doors as they are presented to us to assist a waiting world ready to accept what we have to offer?  Will we be aware enough so that when we do hear that knock on the door, with ‘patience and fortitude,’ we will march forward to the beat of the drum that we are drumming ourselves


Credit: MenteePodcast

"I would rather sing one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep."  - Cecilia Bartoli