Many people have asked me about this name for the clinic. 

The truth is, it came to me while I was sleeping and then it stuck around. Manzanitas are beautiful trees and shrubs native to the California coastal ranges and foothills. 

I have grown up loving their amazing radiant reddish wood that is in a constant state of evolution and transition, their incredibly graceful twisty turny dancing branches, laughing leaves and their scented white and pink blossoms.

I love the tiny red berries for which they are named– manzanita means little apple in Spanish– and this makes me think of children, our own little apples. 

At the Tilden botanical gardens I was amazed to see just how many different kinds of manzanita exist. (I also have always loved their bigger cousins, the madrones, which apparently some Canadians call manzanita.) There are a few varieties of manzanita native to the Bay Area!

It is used medicinally, addressing meridians of the Kidney, Urinary Bladder, Liver and Large Intestine. It is astringing, tonifying, stabilizing, restoring, clearing, cooling and calming. 

Manzanita is one of those plants that strikes me because it seems so related to our humanity, with its branches that take their direction from the wind, its bark by turns as shiny and supple as a body in the rain, or scratchy and rough like an older tree in other places and the wildly different forms it has evolved to adapt in various locales.

Manzanita inspires me to remember we all can take our shape in joyous response to whichever way life moves us, embodying paradoxes of strength and flexibility, evolutions in texture and form and making a home where we find ourselves.