Life is a Tree Part 1

Outside my bedroom window is an enormous maple tree….it is the same tree that welcomes you through the back door and guards the big window in the family room….it is the same tree that shades our entire back patio in the summer and gets strung with miles of white lights in the winter….it is the same tree that drops 6 inches of gold and orange leaves every day in the fall….it is the same tree that bursts with brand new leaves over night, every spring….

Last night, the wind blew in a way that usually makes my entire body tremble. Over the last few years, we have lost a tremendous amount of giant branches off of this tree and others on our property from these kinds of wind storms. For the first few years in this house, I don’t ever remember the wind blowing the way it has for the last few years. It seems with every wind storm, we would lose several branches that were so big that we had to move them out of the yard with the tractor. I wondered how these trees could ever stay alive after losing so much of themselves.

As I laid in bed last night, listening to the wind groaning and blowing and shaking everything in it’s path, I realized that I was not afraid. We have made it through wind storms before….lots of them….we’ve cleaned up the branches and life went on……

I got up this morning ┬áin the still-dark dawn….I walked out the back door fully expecting to find branches all over the yard. Not a single one. The tree was still standing, though….and, I think the last of the fall leaves were blown off of it…..but, that is meant to be, it is inevitable. The trunk is still 3 feet wide and the tree is still straight up….the roots, I am sure, are underneath my house, underneath my grass, underneath my driveway, underneath my garage….they are probably even deeper than my well……..I can not see the roots but I know that they are there….because if they were not, this tree would have been on it’s side long, long ago.

Life is so much like a tree….I think about that all the time. If we make sure our roots are deep….we can stand through a lot of wind.

I’ll close with what my friend sent me about what exactly it IS that makes trees stand upright……

“Actually, most trees do not have deep carrot-like roots. Generally the roots are found in the top 3 feet of soil and 80-90% are in the top foot of soil. Instead, trees roots go all around, like a pancake, extending 2-3 times beyond the canopy of the tree. In that way the tree depends on other trees, shrubs and grass with similar root systems to keep it standing upright. Think of forests…the Redwood Forest in California. Do you think that one of those trees could stand on its own and be that tall and that big somewhere else? No. The other trees–a support system–keep each tree standing tall and proud. Those trees couldn’t grow tall and wide on their own just like we can’t make it in life on our own. We need each other. We need to intertwine our root systems to become strong and resilient to the winds of life.”

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