Judy Helm Wright
I am a parent educator, family coach, personal historian, and have written more than 20 books, hundreds of articles and speak internationally on family issues, including care giving. Trained as a ready to learn consultant, I work with Head Start organizations and child care resource centers to train staff about building relationships. I also volunteer time writing end-of-life stories for Hospice.
Dwain, my husband of 50 years, and I have six grown children and 11 grandchildren. We consider our greatest success in life that our children like themselves and each other. The honorary title of “Auntie” is given in many cultures to the wise women who guide and mentor others in life.
The artichoke also became a teaching lesson when I, with my young family, moved into military housing in California to find Artichokes in their yard. Given that it takes two years for the vegetable to flower, the original gardener never got to see the seeds of her labor. Many times, our actions and reactions in life are felt by people we will never meet, but we plant the seeds of kindness anyway.
The symbol of the artichoke has great meaning in my teaching and writing. As I work with families, I see frequently only the outer edges are exposed and can be prickly, hard to open and sometimes bitter to the taste. They are closed to new ideas or methods. Many families prefer the known over the unknown, even when the old patterns and skills are not serving them well.
But, as you expose the artichoke and people to warmth, caring, and time, gradually the leaves begin to open and expose the real treasure—the heart.