I listen to the stories in the rings of the tree. Patterns of pain. Revealing Maps. This piece is inspired by my experience of motherhood with my two (now teenage) daughters. My oldest has struggled with an immunodeficiency for her 18 years of life. The book, The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams, helped me explain to her the good behind the struggle when she was very young. I chose the shakes of a tree to represent the personal story maps on our own journeys to becoming real. On that formative journey, we encounter mentors like the Skin Horse and Fairy who help guide and counsel us. The two roses represent my daughters. We all struggle. I want my girls to embrace the idea that the hard is important, and even magical, in the process for you to become real.