I am easily mesmerized by trees. How strong they must be, yet so vulnerable. The seasons define them. Animals need them. People have burned, cut, climbed, decorated and planted them. They are homes and hide-outs, sustenance and ceremonial, leafy and prickly.
Basically everyone and thing needs them. (Oh to be so important…)
What’s my point? Well, I’ve noticed that the trunks of trees, regardless of age or thickness, allow branches! I attribute this to the ultimate metaphor of “Life”. Winston Churchill said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect, is to change often.” So, find a favorite tree and look at it. Really look at it.
Does it have the chinks in the bark, like a knight’s armor? Has it survived the winter or wind storm of the decade? Are the branches as round as the circumference of your forearm? Or are they as thick as your pencil? Has it grown since you last noticed it? Or is it healing from the inside with scars no one is likely to notice? Is it equally balanced by its branches, or does it lean to meet the sun? Last one. Does the top of your tree sway in the breeze and somehow meet the precise rhythm of your heart beat?
I think trees have a lot to tell humans. Maybe it wants us to know that bruises to the ego and skin are part of life. Storms may come, but they also go. Strength isn’t about size, it’s about vulnerability. Changes happen when we grow. Having a balanced life means building a strong core, so that when we try new things, while believing in a greater good; we can trust that everything will be okay. And believe it or not, it’s our heartbeat that meets the swaying tree tops, which then becomes a rhythm we can actually breathe/ beat to.
I am going through an interesting time in my life. I need to make some changes and deal with a few storms. I can rest though, because I know that when I turn toward the sun, I will watch the storms go and feel safe enough to stretch out MY branches.
Time will tell us how we all begin and end; but trees will work with us throughout the sappy middle. Don’t let the rings of age determine the way you grow and leave to branch out.