The character of trees

            My mom loved trees. It was not the tallest, straightest trees that drew her eye. Mom’s favorite trees were scarred by lightning, twisted by winds, scorched by fire. Her favorite trees would be of no use to a carpenter, because there was no “quality” wood there. Her favorite trees were imperfect. She said that they had character. She often looked at trees and tried to determine their stories from their scars. It was the story that fascinated her, the storms and fires the tree had survived. Sometimes, two trees would intertwine and their trunks grow together, making one strong tree from two lesser trees. All these things brought character to a tree. Your scars, your grief have added to your story and therefore to your character. You are even more beautiful now for the things you have survived. Your scars tell some of your story. There is no need to hide your grief, your loss, your scars. Dare to show your character and your story!

I invite you to find a tree that catches your eye. Look at it to find the character in it. Tell yourself the story of the tree from the tree’s scars and twists. What gave that tree character? Then, look to your own grief, your wounds, your losses. Tell yourself your own story, not of failures and imperfections. Tell yourself your story of the things that wounded you, yet you survived, more beautiful than before. Take a lesson from a tree. Find the value of your story, your character. Share that with yourself. God bless you!

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