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Building a Creative Forest One Seed at a Time

Building a Creative Forest One Seed at a Time

The past two years I have shifted into high gear to accomplish everything on my “bucket list” sooner than later because… we never know how many days we get.

See Hamilton on Broadway. Check!

Since witnessing Lin-Manuel Miranda’s masterpiece, I keep thinking… “How did he conceptualize such a unique and brilliant production?” What is my gift? Do I have that level of artistic gift in me waiting to bust out like a flower piercing the soil to blossom and brighten its environment?

After watching the Opening Ceremony at the Rio Olympics the one thing that stood out most for me was the Athlete Forest. It was a great reminder that all great things, no matter the scale of the footprint they leave, start with one seed, one thought, one vision.



I keep looking for that ONE thing that’s going to be my Legacy. That one major accomplishment that will leave a positive footprint and always and forever be associated with the fact I lived here for a while.

EVERY day we all have the opportunity to plant at least one seed. It starts with taking the time to give of ourselves to another. We held camp last week and one of the young campers got extremely upset with herself for messing up on a conditioning circuit. The more inward she turned, the more frustrated and angry she got, which only worsened her performance. I hesitated talking with her because I had just met her and didn’t know how she’d handle me going all “Miss Val” on her. Not being one to ever want to have regrets… I spoke with her. She looked at me the entire time with a stoic, unblinking face. I couldn’t even tell if she understood English. I was very thankful when she showed up for camp the next day with a brighter attitude. Whew.

At the end of the camp she gave me a card. (She’s given me permission to share this with you.) It made my heart skip a beat. It reminded me of how one seed, if watered and fed with care, concern and compassion can blossom into something remarkable and enduring.

I’m hopeful the living Athlete Forest I’ve been “gardening” will be fruitful and multiply someday into my own Hamilton.

One person, planting one seed.

One seed - letter

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Kathleen Elbasani
Kathleen Elbasani
7 years ago

Dear Valorie,

Isn’t it amazing how simple it is to make a difference in this world. In my work as a middle school and high school counselor I still hear from former students. Some of us work on a a very large, public scale like Lin-Manuel Miranda, and some of us work on a small more personal scale. The important thing is that in some way we make a positive difference in another person’s life. Gym coaching/Life coaching – it is about the same (without the sweat). Kathy E