In her book, Running with Expanding Heart, Sister Mary Reuter describes the interdependence of California redwood trees. These giant sequoias can stand 300 feet high and spread almost 30 feet across, yet their roots are quite shallow—only 10 to 13 feet deep. But when six or seven of these trees grow close together, their intertwining roots provide the stability needed to stand firm and to flourish. The sequoia trees are a good symbol of the human race. If we want to stand tall and strong, we need to forge bonds with those around us. Then, when the winds of misfortune blow, we will be firmly anchored by our connections with family, friends, and neighbors. An interdependent community will provide the stability and support—the physical, emotional, and spiritual support we all need—to withstand the storms of life, and even grow stronger because of them.
By Delores Dufner, OSB