Despite some minor physical differences, people and trees aren’t so very unalike, I think. We both stand. We both waver. Seasons certainly have their way with us. And we both need roots to grow. Our roots may not be made of the familiar cellulose and bark, but they’re there nonetheless. In fact, without them our perpetual balancing act would collapse into an incoherent tangle of intention, desire, and need. We need pillars, bra.
People roots. Like tree roots, they spread inwards, outwards, backwards, forwards, a composite of thoughts, memories, values, beliefs. Roots are what make you who you are…and they’re the foundation for who you want to be. They are what make us people. And when they’re strong, they make us whole people. People who aren’t afraid to be who they are, nothing more nothing less. Strong roots, though, aren’t easy to come by.
Here, again, trees and people are not so unalike. For both, strong roots start with a diverse, nutrient-rich environment; ample clean water; and space to grow. This we know. But – how is it that some trees (not to mention people) thrive in seemingly barren environments, eking a living off of what looks like dust, dangling from a crumbling cliffside, or standing starkly erect amidst nothing more than a frozen field of rocks? Well. The key word here is “seemingly.” Because it all depends on how you look at it, doesn’t it?
I’m on a personal journey to get more in touch with that sense of perspective. Because when you are able to see possibility instead of hopelessness in those barren expanses, the world becomes a place of joy…not an epicenter of suffering. And as any monk would tell you, that’s what we’re all in it for. We all want to be happy, and we certainly don’t want to suffer.
I want to travel the world (including my own home). I hope to meet as many people who look around them and see something entirely different than what I do. I want to learn from them. I hope to learn from trees too, not just people, exploring regions where ecosystems thrive in compromised environments. At the end of the day, I want to learn how to turn a challenge into an opportunity to live a fuller life. How to grow strong roots no matter where they’re set down.
I know I don’t need to change my circumstances to be happy. I need to change my perspective on what I have. And that’s what I’m out to do.