She hadn’t seen it coming. Her new Chilean husband changed his mind, or, rather, the military coup changed it. Instead of their relocating to her native California as planned, he now wanted to give his country a chance. That was over four decades ago.
Raised surrounded by the lush landscape of Marin County, Suzanne Adam hadn’t expected to settle in Santiago, a city of over five million people, where she faced a series of daunting challenges: food shortages, a military dictatorship, heartbroken parents, maids and machismo.
After a visit back home, she returned to Chile with a California redwood seedling in her pocket, and together they would push down their roots into that distant soil, where she discovered the truth in Wallace Stegner’s statement: “Whatever landscape a child is exposed to early on, that will be the sort of gauze through which he or she will see the world afterwards.”
Suzanne Adam served in the Peace Corps in Colombia before moving to Santiago, Chile, where she lives with her husband. Before turning to writing, she worked as a teacher of learning disabled children. Her narrative essays have been published in The Christian Science Monitor, California Magazine, Persimmon Tree, the Independent Journal and online magazine Nature Writing. She blogs at: tarweedspirit.blogspot.com
My anger seethes. In theory, I know it is not healthy, yet I seek out what produces it. It’s an addiction. My anger came to a peak after watching the movie “Welcome to Sarajevo.” Critics claimed it was not accurate and that there are better movies about the Bosnian War. Still, it brought home to me the horrifying consequences of war, particularly for children. I immediately thought of the ongoing suffering of the children of Syria. These tragedies are happening now, in the present and, yet,…Continue
My Facebook and emails overwhelm me with multiple petitions to sign – save the elephants, no to Environmental Protection Agency budget and staff cuts, investigate Trump’s ties with Russia – and I sign them all. I’d vowed to cut my addition to Face book “news” and to CNN, but I haven’t been very successful. Quite honestly, I haven’t tried. Today I miss Wolf Blitzer only because I forget that last Saturday the U.S. went on daylight savings time, so all the programs are an hour later for us in…Continue
Since I lean increasingly towards nature writing, I find myself ordering Kindle books on the topic. I’m delighted with my latest purchase: The Tree: A Natural History of What Trees Are, How They Live, and Why They Matter by Colin Trudge. In very accessible prose, he provides a truly refreshing “refresher” course in basic biology.…Continue
The morning is sunny and warm, an irresistible invitation to step out in the garden to notice the new green leaves on my potted rosebush and listen to the songbirds whose gay chatter tells me that they feel the approach of spring as I do. The hummingbird feeder needs filling, and I head to the kitchen to prepare their syrup. We still have four official weeks of winter left, but today is a sneak spring preview, the kind of day to…Continue