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Journaling everyday perspectives one word at a time.

Nitor in Adversum

What about our Roots?


Like a tree whose roots can only be seen deep underground, our personal roots lie within. Roots are established deeply and firmly, it is the part of us that attaches to the ground for support. This is where we receive our nourishment for the rest of our lives. Our roots don’t have to be something we feel proud of or rely on in everyday life; they are a part of us but not the whole picture. It is from our own unique roots that we build our lives upon. We have the chance each and every day to build from our foundation. Each and every day we have the opportunity to construct the frame that supports our way forward, to keep or leave what serves us best. Like trees our lives grow and adapt. Like houses our lives can be re-designed and built upon. My roots have grown into compassion for our oldest generation.

My roots are grounded in the surname Horner, passed on to me through my grandmother Elaine. My life is founded in the ancient family motto: ‘Nitor in Adversum’. This means that deep within me there is a fire to ‘Strive against Opposition’. From the Rhine Valley to England, Scotland to Ireland, my family became known as adventurers. In 1790 my roots arrived in Canada and led the way for an English-speaking population in Quebec, where I call home more often than maison. The word strive refers to a struggle of great efforts to obtain something or to fight vigorously. Against refers to anticipation and preparation for challenges. Opposition refers to resistance, a contrast in action or argument. Here lies the foundation for who I’ve become and where I would like to go.

Now our roots show us where our life’s foundation lies but it is here we gain the freedom to design our way forward, to choose what our roots grow into. For me, my roots grew stronger though the actions of Elaine. In a time that told most women ‘no’ my grandmother, true to her roots, strived against the clash between the right and the wrong presented in front of her. Elaine wanted to drive, so she went on her own, passed the test, got her license and drove home…despite the opposition. Elaine wanted to work, so she went on her own and found a job she enjoyed, despite the opposition. She did so with all the style and grace a loving, compassionate and hard-headed woman would.

My grandmother provided the light for my roots to grow strong. I have an inner energy that strives against opposition. Although this may seem to make my life harder it actually gives my life energy. The root in this Wave of Wisdom is in opposition. Without opposition there is nothing to strive against, there is no catalyst for change…my ideal world in which The Ellis Method is no longer needed. My roots enact effort for what’s right, not for what’s wrong. From this I achieve a sense of vitality and I build my strength in preparation for future acts of opposition.

So where do our roots lie? What we do with our roots is up to each of us independently. Who we become grows from these roots in the way we each choose. Where we go from this point forward is a collective action, we decide together. Do we fight for what is right or accept what is wrong?

I invite each of you to ride this Wave of Wisdom and to build a new wall or grow a new branch in your life’s story that enacts Nitor in Adversum: Strive against Opposition. Try it out, see what you think.

We can bring Valued Vitality in Canadian Communities when we say, “It’s my life, my choice and I have something to share”. We can say it loud and proud or we can say it to ourselves but from this day forward we can walk together to where we want to go. #ValueVitality

Stephanie Butchart
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