I took advantage of the first breath of fall weather this weekend and enjoyed a couple of long and leisurely neighborhood stroll patrols. As I have mentioned in an earlier entry, a walk around the streets of my surrounding neighborhoods always provides some sort of discovery.
Saturday morning I took a cross street and saw a strange sight.
I was impressed by the monumental effort demonstrated by the tree to adapt to the abnormal and adverse conditions.
After all, as one of the members of our vocal band with a Ph.D. in nutrition pointed out to us over potato soup at Huey’s one evening, “Trees don’t walk around.”
(He was holding forth on the topic of why we should eat carbs, and while we were stumped by his logic—we all had to agree with the validity of his assertion.)
Who has not read Joyce Kilmer’s poem that begins, “I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree”?
This old deformed tree was not beautiful by Kilmer’s standards, but it was far more heroic. I admire the valiant effort, the will to not only survive but to flourish in the face of adversity. This tree was more remarkable than a Kilmer tree–this was a Faulkner tree, deserving of a Nobel Prize. It had not only endured, but prevailed.
The large misshaped roots reminded me of long arms, hugging the very thing that caused it injury. Its hard to put into words, what this means to me, but Tom’s odd pronouncement comes to me, and I think, trees can’t walk away, and sometimes, neither can we.
I looked up into the tree’s branches, which held the sky, the bright air and where leaves shimmered and birds nested.
Life is never without limits. We can grow around them though. They don’t have to stop us from being who we are, even if our lives wind up looking different from the way we thought they would. We can even learn to stretch our arms around the challenges in acceptance as part of our life. The wind and sun and rain and our many blessings can fill our spirits with the sweet joy of living.
I want to be like that tree.
And maybe I already am.