Beloved and the Pepper Tree was written in India. I was on a spiritual quest and was staying in an ashram in a little town called Thirumalaikodi. I spent my days in meditation, chanting and attending devotional ceremonies. In this mystical land I felt closer to my Creator than ever before. One night I received a blessing from a spiritual teacher. The next morning I sat bolt upright in bed, grabbed my journal and the story of Beloved and the Peppertree came spilling out in one sitting. It felt more like I was scribing the story than writing it…it happened so quickly.
Beloved is a beautiful story on many levels. It’s about friendship, facing challenges, growing and growing up and saying goodbye. It’s about finding ways to cope with change. It is about understanding that we never really say good bye because we carry those we love in our hearts forever.
Beloved is every girl, yet I confess to having loved a tree dearly when I was a child. It was a Pepper Tree. And I had to leave it when our family moved away. Luckily, I moved to a home on an avocado orchard where I had many many tree friends. I believe children are uniquely qualified to appreciate their emotional connection with the natural world.
Writing Beloved and the Pepper Tree helped me to clarify the message I want to put out in the world. Specifically, I want children to know that THEY are beloved. I want them to understand there is something greater out there that truly listens and helps us when we ask. Spirituality is a powerful key to emotional health and happiness, and I hope sharing this message with children helps them root a healthy foundation.