Community Nourishment

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[Image Description: A tree with two large, split branches emerges from a creek. The bark is brown, and there are smaller branches above with green leaves. The water in the creek is light brown with white bubbles on the surface from rapids. Some stones and sticks are in the lower left part of the image on land.]

When I took this photo over the weekend, the water in this creek was much higher than average. But year round, when the levels are lower, this tree is planted within the water. It’s always connected to the water.

I paused for a moment, recognizing that trees don’t merely have their own individualized set of roots. They are often connected to entire root systems underground. This tree, planted in water, likely nourishes other trees too. The trees receive nourishment from the ground table as well, but I imagine (or at least, I like to imagine) that this tree contributes in a special way.

I found this to be a lovely parable of sorts.

All too often, we are socialized to feel guilty for resting, or practicing recreation, or limiting productivity, or caring for our bodies. Cultures of capitalism and ableism have formed and socialized us in these ways.

But we are worth rest, recreation, pause, and care.
We are worth nourishment.

Why should we continue to feel guilty? We need and deserve all of these. And when we center them, planting ourselves in them, we inevitably nourish others too.

Renee Roederer

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