This post has been sitting in my drafts folder since April 15, 2012. I have no idea why it has taken me so long to finally finish this post. I had briefly started it in the airport on my way home from New York, but there it sat. Now that my trip to New York has been over a year ago, it’s sort of fun to think back on my time there…

When I found out I would be heading to NYC for work, I immediately knew that I wanted to see the 9/11 Memorial. My time at the memorial was really emotional and moving, and I think I will forever remember the details of my time there like I remember the details of those first days in 2001.

One of my favorite parts of the 9/11 memorial was seeing the survivor tree:

Survivor TreeThe survivor tree with the new World Trade Center behind it (4/2012)

The Survivor Tree is a Callery Pear tree, and it has a pretty amazing story. From a notecard enclosed with the wall hang below, this is the story: “The tree was originally planted at the world trade center complex in the 1970’s. It was discovered in the rubble weeks after the 9/11 attacks with snapped roots and a blackened trunk. It was taken to the Arthur Ross Nursery in van Cortlandt Park in The Bronx and nursed back to health. It was 8 feet tall at the time of the attacks and now stands 35 feet tall. It was replanted at the site on 12/22/2010. The tree symbolizes the city and country’s resilience“.

Resilience. I love the concept and felt like it was so important that I measured scores of resiliency as part of my thesis for my master’s program. Resiliency- the ability to overcome or bounce back to original form. This tree for me will always be a picture of what resiliency is.

As a counselor, too, this tree spoke volumes to me. This is what I want for my clients, friends, family, and myself. I ended up getting a necklace that was a smaller branch from the tree (metal leaves and small pearls for the flowers). I love wearing it because every time I see it in the mirror or feel it around my neck it’s another reminder of the great resiliency that we as people hold within us (and which I have the opportunity to help people develop in their lives!). I also got this little wall hang:

Survivor Tree Metal Ornament

This sits right next to my closet so it’s one of the first things I see in the morning. Again, it’s a regular reminder of resiliency and what I strive for in my job every day.

When I think about my time in NYC, I had so much fun and really did enjoy everything I did and saw. However, this is the first thing I think about and the most powerful memory: the beautiful resiliency that we possess.