In Olive Branches Don’t Grow On Trees, Silvia unites her family, and in doing so, she learns that happiness isn’t possible without peace, and that internal peace isn’t possible without having peace in one’s outer world. Indeed, the two are inextricably linked. Her internal restlessness and unhappiness is manifested in her inability to stay in one place as she’s continually moving from place to place since her graduation from college. 

The household in which she grew up was chaotic and disharmonious, to say the least. Often times, her father would go on a rampage, forcing the family out of the house and having to seek refuge in a motel. As she grew up, she got better and better at running. “It was no wonder that Silvia was so good at running. She knew what it was like to always be ready, to never know when she might have to, once again, take flight. Perhaps because she had been trained in the battleground of uncertainty. This was why she could never be casual about moving. There was always some sense of urgency about her moves, like she was still running from her father.”

Thus, the importance of making peace in her family is a way of also making peace with her past and herself, and she learns that internal and external peace are inextricably linked. Learning this truth helps her to stay still and know true happiness.