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A photo of a palm tree against a cloud filled sky on a warm afternoon in Miami. Palms remind me of both my Southern and Cuban heritage. Their fruit and milk are a source of nourishment for many, and architecturally their trunks are used as poles and their fronds can create a sheltering roof. The fact that the Royal Palm is the National Tree of Cuba speaks volumes. They have been a symbol of patriotism and freedom for many throughout history. Exile writers of the 19th and 20th Century Martí , Avellaneda, Heredia, and Arenas claimed palms as their poetic inspiration. I have been surrounded by them for over half a century and always find something in their beauty. Their textures and colors have a subtle way of screaming tropical. They can trigger memories of a day at the beach, a warm breeze, or a place to find shade. I can not imagine my life without them. They've always been a reminder of my birthplace, homeland, and ancestry.