Mentors

Day 28.

Marion, who I mentioned yesterday, was (and is) an early mentor in restoration and stewardship, as well as education and communication. She a restoration practitioner and an educator. Her enthusiasm, love, and concern for the plants spreads from one person to another. She is unstoppable and kind-hearted. She taught us how to talk about plants simply by being around her. She reminds us how important our personal energy is.

Marion is a good listener. Yesterday, she startled me. She asked, "And, music, music is important to you two. How is that going?" Very few people see these sides of Jared and I at once. Maybe that is because we make a living with the help of the plants, and what each one of us does to pay the bills seems more important than our "extracurricular" doings.

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I have been lucky to find mentors throughout my life. Photography. Art. Education. Nature. Mothering. I am lucky they found me. Being a mentor is a risk, I suppose, like any relationship. Mentors and guides give their time and share their knowledge.

My first kung fu teacher often said to us, "You come here. I give you everything. You leave. You don't practice. You forget everything. You give it all back to me." He told us this repeatedly. He'd sit in his chair and lean forward intently. He gestured outward as he gave his knowledge on his outstretched hands. He pulled them back inward to his chest... as we one day might give his knowledge back to him. And, disappoint him.