We just returned from our annual camping trip to New Hampshire. Being outdoors, free from many of life’s daily distractions, brings out the philosopher in me. So enjoy a few ‘deep thoughts’ type posts!
* * * *
Tuesday, Jim and I had some time without the boys so we took a hike. A real hike: fast paced, uphill, carrying no one in a backpack. The setting was perfect. Acres of pine, birch and beech trees as far as the eyes could see. The rushing of a stream off to our left. A constant chorus of birdsong and insect chirps. A near cloudless sky dropped patches of sunlight onto the leaves and forest floor. Stepping carefully along the root-riddled trail, it hit me – I am stepping on a living thing! For the rest of the hike I was drawn to the trees.
I noted the varying widths of their trunks and colors and textures of barks. I felt a slight pang of sadness when I saw one lying on the ground. And I thought.
Trees are adaptive. They’ll grow over and around rocks and on sides of cliffs and mountains.
Trees are fragile. They can be destroyed by the smallest insect, succumb to disease or be uprooted and blown over by a strong gust of wind.
Trees are assertive. They don’t care if another tree has been standing there for 80 years. They move right in.
Trees are altruistic. If they fall down, they become a bridge for people to cross. Sometimes one tree catches another tree when it falls.
Trees are resilient. They dig their roots in deep and hold on tight. When only a piece of them is left, they stand tall and proud.
I thought a lot about how trees and people are alike. If I was a tree, what qualities would I have? What kind of person do I want to be while I am alive? What memories do I want to leave behind?
I invite you to be a tree. Stand tall and proud and reach for the sky!