Women of Inspiration Day 11: Alex Porrata
Sometimes inspiration comes in ways we least expect it to, like extra challenges we must overcome. Today's tribute goes out to a dear friend from my West Marin family, Alex Porrata. Let me start with a little throwback story to the project that brought us to put our heads together for the first time. Alex grow up with my husband, Bill, so I was married into the WM 'clan'. This is a small tight community based around HUGE values of intigrity to tread lightly on the Earth and live simply, to thrive enjoying the abundance of love. Might sound a little hippie, but nestled on the northern coast of Cali with National Seashore to enjoy and protect, this community is grounded in deep connection to the land.
Alex and I were both new mothers at the same time, who became instramental leaders in an effort to start an alternative school for our children. With little ones learning to explore and interact on the beaches we were compelled to work together to find a way to allow their education to be explorative and together staying in the community through high school. The project known as West Marin Alternatives in Education brought together many perspectives of education to make change in a failing system. Alex was actively making change everyday with her work supporting the diversity of the community with First 5. As a successful intellectual adult that had been homeschooled as a child my perspective was so inspired by her understanding of amazing duel emmersion programs.
I don't regret a moment of time spent with this amazing group of inspiring moms and I am grateful for the complexity of the connections we made binding our community in awareness. Now far away, I still feel the pluse as West Marin joins hands to support Alex as she shines through bigger challenges then most of us could ever phathom. The day I heard the news that her little 4 year old EZ had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, my heart fell to the floor as if I was still a neighbor living down on Inverness Way. As if I would see her drive by daily and run into them at the beach, my heart was heavy with pain for my friend, as a mother, as a sister. Each day, our Durkee family would rise up against our challenges with Alex and Ron and Lu and Ez in our hearts. Finding a new strength in them to thrive in our happiness no matter what is thrown at us.
And then the unimaginable happened. Hearing Ron had passed away felt like deep heartbreak that as parents struggling ourselves, we could feel and understand while being so incomprehensibly difficult to believe. As a wife, as a mother, my heart bleeds for Alex and I hold her in a specail place of love as she shines through this. There are no words to overcome such pain, but I believe that her smile will give strength to that amazing little boy that is being held by this grounded community. For more of their story and to support their journey (make donations) http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/ezpowell.
Alex, you are a woman of inspiration, these Wonder Bloomers go out to you! May you feel like Wonder Woman as you shine your power on that little lion! Breathe in, Love out!