redwood1 In this short excerpt from the essay entitled The Crossroads of Should and Must, artist and writer Elle Luna talks honestly about her struggle to have a creative life. She discovered her art was one of those things she MUST do, as opposed to all the shoulds that kept her worried and distracted. If you are creative person and struggle to find time to do your art, I think you’ll enjoy her essay. Here is one of my favorite parts from the book that was based on the essay:

Have you ever been in northern California and stood at the base of a redwood tree? If you have, you know firsthand its majesty, its size, the trunk that you and even two or three friends cannot wrap your armsredwood2 around. These trees reach unfathomable heights, strong and beautiful, lifting skyward. But what you cannot see when you stand at the foot of this tree is what is happening underneath. While a redwood tree can grow 360 feet tall, the roots are only on average about ten feet deep. This is because they spread their roots outward, searching for other redwood trees. Their roots intertwine under the ground, and they hold each other up. A redwood tree cannot stand on its own, and neither can we.  –Elle Luna

Read the entire essay by Elle Luna here.

It is a hectic time of year, full of shoulds. Please take a moment to imagine spreading your roots outward, as we hold each other up. Thank you for taking this journey with me. I certainly couldn’t stand on my own without you. xo

elle luna



Susan Gabriel is the acclaimed southern author of The Secret Sense of Wildflower (named a Best Book of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews) and other southern novels, including Temple Secrets, Grace, Grits and Ghosts: Southern Short Stories and others. She lives in the mountains of North Carolina.

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