Have a Child, Plant a tree, Write a book
Earlier this week, I stopped by to visit my friend Chato here in Barra de Navidad. His family took care of my sister Marsha when she and her family became ill while visiting Barra back in 1966. Chato wasn’t home so I sat at the kitchen table and visited with his wife, Marta. We chatted and drank cold coconut milk.
Marta comes from the city of Colima which is some two hours from Barra. She is one of eight children. When Marta was young, her mother told her, “Make your mark on the world. Have a child, plant a tree and write a book.” Her mother had only a first grade education, but taught herself to read and write. She didn’t write an official “book,” but she did write letters to her children for each momentous event in their lives. After her death, one of the children gathered her letters from each of the siblings and bound them into a book. In a sense then, Marta’s mother had posthumously created a “book” and fulfilled the last of her adage. She had born eight children, had planted many trees on their land and had written a book.
Marta’s mother’s words touched me.
Have a child. To that I would add --“or adopt a child, or mentor a child.” I believe her mother would agree with those additions.
Plant a tree. Lord knows we need more trees in this world. They are life sustaining and produce the air we breathe. They soothe the soul. They give shade and provide a resting place for birds and small animals. They provide grandeur for us to look at and enjoy.
Write a book. Don’t we all have a story to tell? It could be as simple as keeping a journal, writing a blog, treasuring a shoe box full of love letters, or looking at cards given to us by family and friends. Expressing ourselves through writing is a joy.
For days I have thought about these wise words. They have caused me to look at my own life and take inventory. Will I have left any of these “marks?”
Have a child. I am grateful for my four children; five counting Ana Cecilia who I adopted in Costa Rica many years ago. And the young girls I mentored at the House of Hope in Costa Rica became mine as well. I am grateful to God for allowing me to “have a child” -- in fact, many of them.
Plant a tree. Hank and I have planted twelve palm trees at my home here in Mexico. They have grown tall and strong and I frequently admire them from the hammock in our back yard. They bring me a sense of peace and tropical tranquility.
Write a book. I am putting the finishing touches on Dear Mom and Dad, Please Send Money, my first book. I pray God opens a way for the book to be published so that some of my memories can be shared with family and friends.
Comments: What are your thoughts on the statement, “Make your mark on the world: have a child, plant a tree and write a book?”