🚺💦🌳 Daughter, Water, Trees 🚺💦🌳

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Mama Mindset® Podcast #9 Cover Art: Episode Entitled Daughter, Water, Trees based on book by Rina Singh, Illustrated by Marianne Ferrer

Mama Mindset® Podcast Episode #9: Daughter, Water, Trees

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Daughter.  Born with divine feminine energy. 

Water. Refreshing and life giving.

Trees. Majestic and a place of simultaneous strength and solace.

In this special and sacred episode of the Mama Mindset® podcast, I got emotional in the most nourishing way honoring a book that touched the soil of my soul.  It nurtured me in a serendipitous moment, and it is my prayer that it splashes you with the honor it is to celebrate you, fellow daughter.  


I feel this story is a beautiful depiction of one man's courage to change the narrative of a small village in India.  To pivot from the silence, shame and fear that often met families when they welcomed a daughter.... to a place of celebration, strength and connection with nature.


The book is called 111 Trees: How One Village Celebrates the Birth of Every Girl by Rina Singh and gorgeously illustrated by Marianne Ferrer.  These two women brought to life the story of a boy named Sundar... who grew up to become a man of prominence in his village, elected as sarpanch,  or village head. Sundar Paliwal who chose to lean into the love and connection he had with two significant women in his life- his mother and daughter, both of whom he had tragically lost.... and to channel that love and grief into life and nurturing and ultimately honoring and allowing for new life to thrive.  


Trees reminded him of his mother and walks he had with her to the well to get water as a young boy.  He cherished this time alone with her, and was filled with awe watching her grace in balancing the water pot on her head and later filled with grief when she died after being bitten by a poisonous snake. When his daughter tragically died of dehydration, after his initial period of acute mourning, he planted trees in her honor.  


And then, looking at 3 parallel lines he had written on the ground with a stick for 3 things that stood out in his mind: daughter, water, trees- he saw the number 111.


As the sarpach or village head, he proposed and planted the idea that honoring girls was the way forward.  That for every daughter born to the village, 111 trees be planted in her honor.  This thought was radical at the time and resistance was strong in the beginning.  But as the idea began to take root, the families began planting 111 for every new daughter.  The trees grew as did the girls.  The once barren, arid and devoid landscape in this village began to flourish and thrive.  Water was more abundant.  Poverty and hunger improved.  Women of the village tended to aloe vera plants which served as a natural termite repellent to ensure the health of the trees.  From this and their natural innovation, they made products out of aloe vera and established a livelihood of their own for the first time.  


The villagers committed to raising their daughters with the opportunity to get an education and not to be married before age 18.  The girls and women of the village tie prayer and sacred threads to the trees at the end of every summer as a sacred act of the symbolism of their bond and their mutual ability to grow, prosper and thrive.


Today, the village still honors the birth of a daughter with the planting of 111 trees.  In 2007, the Indian government honored the village of Piplantri with the President's Award for being a model village.  


I imagine a visit to this village one day- to see the mango, papaya, neem, sheesham and amla trees along the roads and plentiful on the hillsides.  Their beauty evident.  Their brilliance and wisdom a source of life and restoration for the village and family. Their strength celebrated.   Their life giving abilities on display.  Just like the daughters who inspired them.  May their roots grow ever deeper.  May their brilliance and beauty be ever on display.  Celebrated.  Honored.  A gift.  A life giving gift.  Born to thrive.


This profoundly powerful story moved me to the roots of my own soul.  


Daughter. Water. Trees.  


This Indian village and its harmony with nature an invitation to all of our connection. 


Daughters: To be celebrated.  

Water:  Nourishing. Nurturing.  Hydrating.  Fluid.  Flowing. Steady. Trees:  Strength. Home. Flexibility. Shade.  Solace.  Giving.  Living. Harmony.  


Please join me in this storytelling session and this opportunity to honor the Daughter in you.  The elements of water and tree that flourish in your soul.


Trees evoke feelings of safety and harmony with nature.  They persevere through the seasons.  We look to them as signs of change and also constant.  They bend, and may be broken, but their roots remain planted.  They nourish all that is around them.  They provide a home and shade, places to imagine, branches to swing and climb and jump and leap.


Women are trees in so many ways.  In this episode, I share how I've always resonated in my daydreams with a weeping willow tree, planted by a glistening moving river, with deep roots and a mystical, whimsical room for reading in the shade of the growth that went from the tree to the ground.  I can still  drop into this daydream and honor the creative and inner child within me.  


Growing up in Central Florida, I played and climbed the citrus trees near my childhood home, listened for the wild peacocks and sampled the supremely sour and amazing fruit.  My sister and I had many carefree days among these trees.  Two daughters. And the cypress trees that lined the shore of the lake, the magnificent splendor in them, bejeweled with Spanish moss hanging lazily down like beautiful necklaces draped so perfectly.  Those cypress trees, and their knobby knees I tripped over many times hiding in the grass, captivated me and still do.  The oak trees lining the brick streets, I never tired of driving along them, walking along them as a young girl and then teenage driver with her newfound freedom.


And now, here in Hawai'i, I imagine the palm trees dancing hula just for me, and I marvel at their flexibility and choice to be in harmony with the trade winds and breezes that blow.  There are two palm trees from Hana planted in my neighborhood that mesmorize me with their daily hula dance.


What tree do you resonate with?  


I imagine us standing in all of our diversity and strength as a grove of trees.  Daughters.  Connected to water at our source, and the lives we nourish.  Trees.  Together.  A forest of shade and solace, of strength and solidarity.


Deepest gratitude to Rina Singh + Marianne Ferrer for the gift of this book and providing endless inspiration to the soil of my soul.  And to Sundar Paliwal for leaning into his genius zone to honor the women who had been these things to him- and to allow nature and his neurons to harmonize with 111 for Daughter, Water, Trees.  And how the trees growing in his once dusty village have brought life, celebration + inspiration of Daughters to a deeply rooted reverence everywhere.


Mamas, I see you.  I celebrate you.






Book Inspiration

111 Trees: How One Village Celebrates the Birth of Every Girl

By: Rina Singh

Illustrated By: Marianne Ferrer

 Other Book Mentioned that I adore

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

By: Vashti Harrison


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