Adopting a Palm Tree – Ummul Khair

Once upon a time West Africa was the palm Industry’s center. During the years of British Rule, the leading producer of palm oil in the entire world was Nigeria. Palm trees usually bring relaxing tropical holidays into our minds but they are more than just scenery. Palm trees are a dynamic economic resource.

Recently I visited the beach in Lagos and met with the volunteers of Kids Beach Garden. They are an initiative that is geared towards creating a cleaner and healthier environment. They also help people in adopting and planting palm trees on the beach. This helps to protect the houses on the beachfront from the wrath of the sea but also contributes to the Economic growth of the region.

I adopted a Palm tree and when the time came to name her it was an obvious choice for me. I named the tree after my late grandmother. My grandmother’s name was Ummul Khair. I should say very befitting because the meaning of the name is a nice mother or a good mother. She was a strong woman who always radiated unconditional love and compassion. She passed away when I was 1 year old but, the stories of her love towards me and my mom still lives in our hearts.

When I was a few months old, grandma told my mom that whatever happens in life, my mom should always be with me. She loved me and my mom so fiercely that the Universe used her as a vehicle to advice my mom about the future. There came a time in my life when at the age of 11 I had to decide between the home I have lived until that moment and my mom’s only choice to outlast a toxic marriage which was separation and I chose to leave my home and go with my mom I felt my grandmother was smiling at us from above.
She was a woman whose love and care touched many lives and for me, she is like a palm tree. Giving not just her shade but, every element of hers to everyone in order to make their lives better. Through this palm tree, my Grandma lives for long doing what she does the best i.e. positively influencing people’s lives.

She grew old-
And floated away,
But her love remains standing-
Eternally by my side.”
― Giorge Leedy

Palm trees contribute to the production of oil, brooms, baskets, wine, sponges, soaps, medicines, rugs, etc. It lives long contributing to the people and economy while providing shade to travelers. In the ancient Mediterranean world, the palm branch represented victory and peace. It also symbolized eternal life. Some consider palm trees to be a sign of good luck. Any which ways if you are given an opportunity to adopt a palm tree I would say go ahead as it will change lives.

It is the nature of the strong heart, that like the palm tree it strives ever upwards when it is most burdened.

-Philip Sidney

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