Walking the Wu Walk: Rooting for Truth

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.

Next to the sidewalk was an oak tree that had spread its roots sideways in order to accommodate the stretch of cement that faced the street.

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.

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One thought on “Walking the Wu Walk: Rooting for Truth

  1. I suspect my front yard oak tree is both less mannered and less heroic. Just days after moving in 28 years ago, its roots strangled the plumbing, allowing us to enrich the Roto-Rooter Group Inc. by a nice amount. Throughout the years, it has pushed up and cracked through our attempts at geometric order. It has also taken a few swings by tossing branches our way. The latest is dislodging a walkway tile that now wiggles like a loose tooth and will probably cause a lawsuit unless I get some power tools and hazardous chemicals and do battle with Oakie’s root system. It’s no Kilmerish tree, nor Faulknerian. It is Beelzebubesque.

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