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When President Grover Cleveland made hunting buffalo illegal in 1893, there were only 300 left.We adorn the Hope Tree with a bison to remind us to recall our own boundless stores of spiritual energy – “store-holds” that we have been gathering for a lifetime that will serve us well now. We are grateful to all those who rally for our care and support.We accept the abundance of love, encouragement and knowledge that surround us now.We pray for consistent focus in staying committed to our healing process. We acknowledge what a blessing it is to fight for this life that we cherish so deeply.Our body may roil and sway above the rocking ocean surface but our hearts and spirits will remain safely tethered to their source – quietly awaiting the storm’s end as we rest in the calm, deep seas of hope.Family, loved ones, experts, care-givers, friends and countless kind strangers weave together to make an unbreakable braided rope for our anchor.It was considered extreme disrespect of this sacred gift to waste any part of the Native American bison or to kill it for sport, as many of the white men did.Because of the excessive hunting of white men, the bison in North America nearly died out.

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But hope has a life cycle of its own – sometimes strong and palpable, sometimes weak and vaporous. Each of the 48 symbols on the tree were chosen for their historic or cultural connection to hope or its precursors. It’ll come along.” For hundreds of years sailors traveling the Earth’s oceans have felt great good fortune upon sighting an albatross gliding above the waves.One that will help you get through one more week, one more day, one more hour, one more minute. Beating out the rhythm: I can make – I can make it – I can make it.When facing a diagnosis of cancer, adaptability is a skill that we must all develop. Climb into your shell when needed to recuperate, poke your head out when you are able to and then extend all four legs to walk away when you are ready. May we all glide like the albatross – not bothered by the surf and wind around us as we sail through the obstacles before us.It’s behemoth humped shoulders were symbolic of store-holds of energy readily available in the spiritual realms.

These cultures revered bison imagery and used it in many ceremonies asking for and anticipating relief from their hardships.

This African symbol translates as “Denkyem:” a turtle or crocodile because they live in the water, yet breathe the air, demonstrating an ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Modern day lyrics from the James Taylor song “Like Everyone She Knows” inspire us to weather the storm with adaptability: “Hold tight to your heart’s desire. In addition to being an early Christian symbol due to its cross structure, the anchor is a symbol of well-grounded hope and fresh starts.