Thursday, January 22, 2009

Crooked Places

If you have spent any time at all in the woods you’ll come across a tree like this one that I found down the hill last weekend. This black birch started growing here years ago, from a seed dispersed by the wind across the snow in midwinter, one of them coming to land and take root.

This tree’s genes tell it to grow, to reach for the light, to put down roots and drink deeply of the nutrients in the soil. Unimpeded by wind or storms, grown in the open with plenty of light, this trees should grow straight and tall.

The life of this tree, though, is inseparable from its experience, its stimuli, and its substrate. Clinging to the boulders, scarred from ice storms, twisted and turned, the shape of the tree tells a life story.

Crooked places mark significant moments. They mark the challenges we face, the strife, the times we have to change direction, to retrench and reexamine.

I have a crooked place, April 3, 2008. My boy caused my growth rings to change; my trunk bent, and my roots had to dig in and hold on.

The trees tell us to wear the scars proudly. Bleed your sap. Heal your wounds. Redouble your efforts to grow to the light despite the droughts, the fire, the insects and the woodpecker holes.


Lani said...

I can't help but see Silas in the trees, for that is what his name means. Our beautiful babies are out there in nature, in the stars, the trees, the wind and the birds.

this is a beautiful post.

k@lakly said...

Beautiful imagery. Your roots are strong, you will survive this, you will.