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Within Every Acorn is a Mighty Oak

Maureen Sexsmith-West

ISA Certified Arborist, PR4600A

Here we are, Thanksgiving Weekend. My how time flies. I was whipping up a batch of Borscht this afternoon (beet soup for those of you not of Ukrainian descent). Despite it’s odd pink colour it offers a world of nutritious ingredients that highlight the bounty of my summer garden harvest so perfectly. I remember as a little girl, driving my Grandfather a little crazy as I made him stop throughout the whole preparation so I could measure everything before he added it to the giant stock pot and record it in my little cook book. No matter how hard I tried, it just never tasted the same. He added his own special touch and love that made it impossible to copy. Yet, I have still passed this recipe on to my children. When I make soup now a days, it is a little like the Master Chef Mystery Box. I open the fridge to see what ingredients are on hand and “voila” – a never to be repeated masterpiece of wholesome goodness. I use the knowledge I have gained from those who came before me to create something uniquely me. Sometimes the batches are less successful. I also recognize that not all my creations will appeal to everyone. Throughout my life there have been many ‘Papas’ that have patiently let me watch them and question them so I could learn every step. What is even more wonderful is that they have given me the freedom the take their recipe and make it my own.

I am thankful today for all the people in my life – past present and those in my future. My parents, my children and the rest of my clan. Employers, Colleagues and Co-Workers who have helped me prune out less beneficial traits and others have fertilized my spirit. Friends who have left such an impression on my life that they resonate in my heart always. They made me laugh, told me the straight truth and picked me up when I fell down. Nay Sayers and critics: Even those people that have bullied, frustrated me, were rude, demanding or offered conflicting views served to teach me my limits, other points of view, what I don’t like and won’t tolerate. Clients: Who make me want to do my best (something reminiscent of my girl guide days. “I promise to do my best, to do my duty …”) For Children and the Young at Heart: Who challenge me, teach me and inspire me with their joy, passion and enthusiasm. People with whom I have met or worked with on service clubs, community projects or professional organizations. The clerk, the chef, the cashier. Teachers, Counsellors, Clergy and Coaches. Those that have helped build my moral compass.

Every single person has blended to bring out the best I have to offer myself, my family, my friends, my clients and my community.

We are all like that acorn adapting to the growing conditions, enjoying good season and bad. We ward of pests and bring service in the shade of our leaves, the fruit we bear and the things we attract and share with those under our canopy. I hope my life will continue to have people to help direct my growth, keep my trunk straight, be flexible in storms, my limbs strong, to be bountiful and my roots to grow deep. I hope that in some way I can pay it forward and help other acorns fulfill their potential to become a mighty oak.

Today, I am truly grateful.

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