I was thinking about the resilience of trees as I hiked along under their cover of cool shade. What force can bend a tree around itself? And the tree yields but continues to reach up. Other trees have fallen, their roots torn from the earth, and yet new trees grow right out of that decay stretching up to sun and blue sky. The old dying to give life to the new.
Other trees grow right out of jagged rocks and huge boulders. They must have to scrap for every tiny nutrient, struggling in the worst conditions. Still they find a way to move upright no matter the pressure and strain.
I was struck by the idea that this forest path wasn’t just a cool place to hike, but a whole classroom for how to be in the world. People are at each other in the most aggressive ways. No one cares about others, well, unless they are on your side because that has to be the right side, doesn’t it? It’s downright mean and it’s dehumanizing, and it’s so utterly not how we’re supposed to be.
But stand tall, even when you are twisted in half, even when you must fight for every tiny bit of sustenance, even when all around you seems to be in decay.
For there is hope and there is love, every time you give to another just that one kind word or smile or pull your mask up or tell the person at the drive-up window to keep the change. I hope that when I see you on the trail, I tell you to have a good hike, even if you don’t have your dog on a leash.