Three summers ago, I embarked on a journey that would change my life.
I had just started grad school, and was traveling to Baja, California for my first study abroad experience of the program.
Friends, I reopened my Baja journal today, and I was reminded of the mangroves.
You see, one day we took a boat over to an island, minimally touched by humans. We hiked, and came upon a mangrove forest.
My friend and classmate, Amber, and I, excited to see the upcoming mangrove forest on our desert island hike.
Photo credit to Katie.
We learned that mangroves, when unconstrained, spread out and inhabit new areas. But, when constrained, such as by a mountainside, will adapt and grow taller instead.
I was fascinated. How can a plant be so adaptable that it can continue to grow in any circumstance - constrained or free?
That evening, I wrote about my fascination in my journal.
At the end of the trip, we submitted our journals to our instructors for review.
When returned to me, I flipped through the journal. My instructor, Katie, had left me a note on this entry.
“So how do we become more like mangroves?”
Dead stop. How do we become more like mangroves?
I re-read this question today. And in this time of uncertainty, when we may feel like we’re up against a mountain, how can we adapt? How can we grow taller? Grow stronger?
How can we keep our entire forest growing taller, stronger, and more resilient?
I leave you with this question today. How do we become more like mangroves?
Things are uncertain. Things are scary. And things are different.
But I believe we can come out of this taller.
I’m so glad you are here, and I hope that you are safe, healthy, and a little bit like a mangrove.
We’ll talk soon.