Reading Between the Growth Rings with Laura Formentini

Nature comes with its telling lessons.

Some are bitter, like a crabapple, and some are sweet, like dew or honey. Either way, you are left transfixed with the stillness of nature. But just like many things in life, we don’t appreciate the true beauty of something until it is lost.

There comes a time in your life when you find yourself shaking, hanging by the last thread of a very flimsy rope. It’s being cut, inch by inch, and before you know it, you fall.

Now picture a tree being cut. Step by step, little by little, you walk with bare feet trying to make it to where your mind and body meet a consensus, watching the willow and the stump left barren.

But is it really bare?

We often underestimate the forces of nature and its capabilities.

An example is growth rings! They show the age of a tree, the journey of its infancy till it’s finally strong enough to hold itself on its own. Grief leaves us counting these growth rings, one by one; each crooked line condenses into a flurry of emotions you cannot comprehend.

Leaving trails with your bare feet, you find yourself seeking direction.

Author Laura Formentini helps you find your way back home through the garden of grief with the book she has etched during her transformative journey following the passing of her son, Blaise.


The first lines symbolize infancy, innocence, and, most importantly, being carefree.

Laura sheds light on these notions through her storytelling aesthetic. She emphasizes how important it is to reconnect with the child living inside of you. An essence that helps you encounter life’s challenges, helping you wade through them. We’re constantly trying to collect riches, wanting what’s fickle. We’re lost souls that take ourselves too seriously. Take a step back and immerse in fables like Doris in the Green. You delve deep into the tunes the author attaches to her words.

Laura’s pieces remind you of stories your grandmother used to recite, as you felt the warm embrace of a comforting blanket telling you, “It’ll all be okay.”

But what makes her writing so impactful?


A key feature in her writing is one that transcends constructs and deliberate notions. For Laura, writing this book wasn’t an endeavor. It was a form of catharsis. It was a moment of inspiration and self-discovery that turned into something great. Every word you read, every punctuation asserted, every fable delicately orchestrated is a step forward, barefoot through the garden of grief we all find ourselves in.

Laura advises all those grieving to develop a habit of meditation. If we read between the lines of her book, we’ll find glimpses of her breaths, revisiting her chaotic thoughts, only this time, it is less scary. It is transformative. It is one of hope and fortitude. Our minds are inclined to think and come up with ways we can ensure our survival. In that pursuit, we often find our minds wandering. Meditation helps you recenter your mind to what’s at hand. When going through grief, you need a way to cope when your mind slides into the pit of negative emotions that fester and grow as time goes on.

Laura found her form of meditation as she etched her emotions into her book. And in that process, she slowly discovered her prolific writing prowess.

Some books showcasing their poetry teach you, and some inspire you. Laura Formentini’s book does something that is very rare, even when it comes to the people you find yourself interacting with.

Her words have the power to comfort you when you need them the most. Some books have elaborate keynote features and pointers by which you market. Twentyone Olive Trees main USP is that it’s simply an ode to finding yourself as Laura did in her plight.

For all those shrouded by the confines of morbidity, Formentini helps you find the light you’ve lost along the way.

Growth Rings

Laura encourages her readers to avidly indulge in habits and hobbies that make them feel alive. When all else seems fleeting, it’s these activities that make you realize that true joy can be found in the most morbid of realities. Maybe it’s painting, and maybe it’s exercise. Perhaps you may want to pick up the pen and go down the same path as Laura. In the end, it’s these things that help you fight through the overwhelming feeling of giving up. She lends a helping hand through her story to those struggling. And with every thorn in your feet, the hours spent counting the growth rings, with every visit back to the stump cut prematurely, you’ll find a sprouting glimmer of hope, delicate but strong, rejuvenated.

Laura counted hers.

21 growth rings.

TwentyOne Olive Trees.

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