Updated: Jan 11
This story is fictionally based on real characters and events. Ivy writes with marvelous realism, referring to the magical and supernatural in her life by pulling from real facts and people who lived in her life during a time where anything was possible. It is about a young girl's journey to discovering the importance of optimism, especially into adulthood, when she realizes it's her only chance for survival.
If you were classified as a specific tree, you would get on with it and be ok with what you can't change.
“If you were born between September 30 and October 27, you are an Ivy. As an Ivy, your most prized ability is to overcome all odds. You have a sharp intellect, but more obvious is your compassion and loyalty to others. You have a giving nature and are always there to lend a helping hand. You are born at a time of the waning sun, so that that life can be difficult for you at times. Nevertheless, you endure troubling times with silent perseverance and soulful grace. You are soft-spoken but have a keen wit. You are charming, charismatic, and can effectively hold your own-self in social settings. Ivy signs are attracted to Oak and Ash signs.” -from OneTreePlanted.
Ivy wanted to see the world as one big adventure.
We are all born perfect. Who cares what others say or think? You are perfect. You would not be here if you were not. You would not exist. I believed this to be true as a child.
It was the late 1970's; I was almost ten; I had a big loving family and enjoyed my inflatable hopper. I had big ideas of who I wanted to become when I grew up. My love of animals in all shapes and sizes, wild and domesticated, made me believe I could be a vet someday or a zoologist. The possibility of traveling the world to save elephants from losing their tusks to Chinese medicines or living a life like Jane Goodall, who got to study and live among the apes, was thrilling to me. I also thought I would have a good shot at being a scientist discovering new species in the Amazon, imaging I would be a female version of Indiana Jones. My parents had National Geographics laying around, and although I would not be particularly good at keeping my eyes focused on reading the educational articles, I loved the photographs!
In school, well-intentioned adults did not want to see me fail but instead see the realities of my limitations explained to my parents. I began to fall short of the expectations of the educational system. The information given came from a place of care and concern, but it could not have been more damaging for my spirit to hear these words, "you have a learning disability," and "this will be an obstacle to achieving some goals you may have." I suddenly felt I would be sent to the island of misfit toys.
In the beginning
For the most part, I was brought up in a small New England town but had left at age seven with my family to go on a two-year adventure exploring the far east in Persia via London, England. My father was a bright businessman and had the opportunity in telecommunications overseas. Both my parents were young and had four young children in tow. I remember feeling excited but not happy about the rounds of vaccines, especially the dime-size dent from the smallpox vaccine, which we needed or faced disfiguring.
To be continued…
“Celtic Tree Astrology is based on the idea that the time of our births is related to the formation of our personality and behavior. The Celtic Tree Astrology system was developed from the Druid’s knowledge of earth cycles and their profound connection with trees. They believed trees were vessels of infinite wisdom and that our own human personalities could be associated with different species of trees.”
About the Author
Kristina Applegate founded Kids Share Workshops (KSW), which ran from 2008-2017, ending in Zambia with World Vision. KSW was a children's writing and art workshop that published stories from three continents. Growing up with dyslexia, Kristina struggled with reading books and grammar. She never dreamed she could be a writer. Teaching children to be confident learners despite all obstacles gave Kristina the courage to create Kids Share Workshops and her first blog, The Stymied Optimist. Her focus now is creating weekly fictional short stories by exploring the world of marvelous realism and linking the real world with the supernatural world. Kristina's primary goal is to make you think while bridging reality with the fascination of the unknown.