Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

another tree, a different lesson ~

This conifer grows in front of where I park at my mother-in-law’s assisted living wing. The complex is situated on the outskirts of a suburb of the city where we live — in other words, pretty much surrounded by fields. So the wind really does come sweeping across the plains. Or at least the pastures…:) This is important, as you’ll see.

I was parked at Mom’s, looking out, and I really saw this tree. Although I go to Mom’s regularly, usually parking in front of the tree (we’ll call it Tree, since we don’t know its name :), I’d never really thought about it. To be honest, I’m not sure I ever even noticed Tree before.


But today, something about the windswept curve of Tree’s branches spoke to me. Anyone who knows me will warn you I think in metaphors. Heck, I live in metaphors — breathe them, dream them, swim through them. But this one, a tree I never thought about before, is a strong one.

Notice anything about Tree? How she lists to starboard as you face her? She’s blown that way by those prevailing, sweeping winds. But look closely. Because the winds come from the east, Tree lists to the west. Okay — that makes sense. But I see something else when I look at Tree. She’s fuller on her port side — more green, more growth, thicker. The stress has actually made Tree stronger.

picture by Troy Mayr


So why did Tree respond this way to the stress of those winds and the tree in the other picture not so much? Who knows? The religious will say faith. I’d be more apt to say heart — the ability to bend w/ the wind and dance into it, leaning against the pressure as if against a wall.

It’s the way I want to face the pressures in my life these days: like Tree. Growing stronger, more beautiful, and dancing through them. Not a bad metaphor, if you think about it :).

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