Ode to The Matriarchy


I’ve never much connected with the idea of a family tree because “tree diagrams” look nothing like trees apart from the existence of branches. Instead, and especially in the springtime, I like to think of the tree as me.  

Its branches, the places of noticeable and ever present growth, are my children. They stretch to the sky to find the sunlight in everything, reaching out from my heart. 

Beneath the surface, a vast network of roots connects me to the ground. Keeps me from falling over during the storm. Nourishes me, unseen. Those women before me, not just my own ancestors, but all of the matriarchs who are woven in beside them. 

The leaves are my friends. They gather for me the sunshine. They seem small and fleeting. There are winters when I forget they are still there. Perhaps they change, but they are never really or truly gone. 

Pointing me skyward, the trunk stands me up tall. Supporting all of the growth branching out. The trunk is quiet. She is resolved. She’s the mother who birthed me and guides me up still. She’s the family of women who walk me through the world. 

I am the tree, and I am the mountain it sits on. I am the air and the breeze that runs through it. I am the mother.  

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Amy is a Hudson Valley native and educator working in New York City schools. She has two little kids and one little dog. Before moving to her current home in Ossining, Amy attended college on Long Island and then spent most of her 20s in Brooklyn and Queens. New York is truly home for her, and she’s thrilled to be living closer to her hometown of Garrison and her extended family. As a mom, Amy believes in empowered parenting, and she’s passionate about raising her kids to be partners in the fight for social justice. When she’s not working or trying to figure out nap time, Amy loves hiking, yoga, swimming, and relaxing with her family.