Tonight's post is a classic post. I intend to be back next week with a fresh post for you. :)
this tree in my neighbor's back yard, behind their shed. It's an
evergreen...a cedar, I think. It's sort of a Charlie Brown tree in a
way. It's not symmetrical. The branches reach every which way. It's top
heavy. Awkward. Lopsided.
might consider this tree "unfortunate" were it not for the fact that it
has somehow managed to grow quite healthy with a shed on one side
blocking the afternoon sun, a fence and vegetation on the other
side blocking the morning sun and a bunch of bigger trees above it
blocking the daytime sun. But I've seen this tree grow pretty big over
15 years with all these obstacles remaining constant.
thing that helps is that it's an evergreen. When everyone loses their
leaves, the evergreen gets to bask in the sun. I have a pear blossom in
my yard that buds and blooms before the maple above it gets its leaves.
Otherwise it wouldn't get the sun it needs to do all that. Once it has
leaves, it's happy to live under the maple, but if the maple grew leaves
sooner, the pear blossom never would have made it.
the evergreen and pear blossom are able to get what they need to
survive, partly because of the kind of tree they are. The evergreen is
evergreen, so it gets a good five months out of the year without any
competition for sunlight. The pear blossom is an early bloomer, so it
gets a valuable month's head start on establishing its leaves and gets
all the power it needs to bloom while the maple is still making
beyond the tree type...what's in its DNA...the evergreen thrives as an
individual by poking its branches out wherever it can to catch sun and
rain. Which is why it's so oddly shaped. It is, in fact, NOT oddly
shaped, but instead, perfectly shaped to take advantage of its
environment. Same with the pear blossom. It's grows thin and tall with
more leaves higher up because it competes with two much larger trees and
has to find that bit of clear airspace available to wash as much
surface area with sun and rain to keep it going.
there's a tall, fat tree using its tall fatness to make the most of its
mission on earth—growth and light. And there's a tall skinny flowering
tree that's tall and skinny for the same reasons.
of my life I've resented the body I'm in. Like the evergreen, I'm an
apple...leaner legs with all my weight around the middle. It's no
mistake I have this body, though. Like the evergreen, the universe
planted me where it did for a purpose and I grew as I did for a purpose,
too. Some of the evergreen's awkwardness isn't awkwardness at all, but
what that tree needs in order to face the light...how it copes to both
protect and expose itself to the right elements. I suppose I'm the same
with my pear blossom. In fact, one day the maple will have to come down
and that pear blossom will change in all sorts of ways because of it,
just as the evergreen would change if the shed or one of the trees
around it came down. But then again, we don't know what other issues
something like that may trigger. Right now, everything is thriving just as it is.
as long as we allow our special kind of DNA and our weird and awkward
ways of coping to keep focusing on our unique missions of growth and
light, it's likely we'll continue. What the trees don't have to struggle
with, but we do though, is accepting that they will never be an oak or
maple—tall with an impressive canopy to drink in the elements. Oaks and
maples have their own issues to contend with. The lifespan of a maple,
for example, is centuries less than the lifespan of a cedar. But that's
just it...the trees don't struggle at all. They just work with what they
have and make what they have work.