Stand Like A Tree
April 5, 2018
Trees have a strong hold on me. There is the four generation connection to the lumber industry in my family. My childhood memories include the smell of huge sawdust piles, the wall of heat that hit me as I walked into the kiln behind my father and many afternoons spent unloading wood from the back of the pickup truck and stacking it for winter.
I also remember long summer afternoons spent sitting in the tree next to the barn reading a book or lying on the grass in the front yard shaded by maple trees and gazing up into the shifting patterns in the leaves. I love the imposing yet inviting shape and size of trees and their evolving appearance through the seasons.
Yesterday wind gusts of up to 70 mph ripped through our area for hours. I watched out the windows as the trees swayed, branches fell and debris went flying by. As I was washing dishes, a fierce gust came up suddenly and brought down a tree across the street onto a neighbor’s driveway.
This morning, after the storm had passed, I walked the dog and surveyed the damage in the community. I came across another downed tree; a huge pine that fell on the college campus. Like the one in my neighborhood, the other trees nearby had withstood the assault but one went down. I looked at the root ball and wondered why this one, an apparently healthy looking tree, could not handle the wind while all the others had.
Recently I was met a woman who has been going through an extremely difficult month. She was near tears and said at times it had all felt like too much. Every where she turned, she was being buffeted by strong winds. But that day she had awaken and gave thanks for the simple gift of another day. She took a deep breath and resolved to be strong inside, even as the winds continued.
The inner strength for many trees is the taproot at it very core. This deep root gives strength and anchors the tree. That same strong inner core that can help us weather the inevitable storms of life. That deep sense of our worthiness, that we are enough. Finding something each day to be grateful for, no matter how small. Seeing with eyes of compassion and bringing kindfulness, intentional - not random - acts of kindness, to our small corner of the world. Done over and over again, a strong taproot takes hold in us and helps us stand a bit taller and feel more connected to ourselves and others. The winds may push or pummel but you won’t topple over. Stand strong and tall like a tree and feel your inner core anchor you to what you know is good and true.