By David Joel Miller.
“People are like them trees” the old man said as he pointed out the window. I must have looked at him like he was crazy because he started to explain.
“Ain’t a one of them that grows straight up to the sky, not one! Some of them look straight from far off but when you get to looking right up close they every one gots their scars.”
“They start off all looking straight; we stake them up nice and neat but sooner or later we takes the stakes off and then the tree has to grow on their own. People try to do that with their kids, stake them up, fence them round and keep them growing up on the straight. But eventually the parents got to back off and let the kids grow on their own just like we do them trees.”
“Trees grow for a while and then they take off in one direction or other, eventually they end goin off this way or that and then they head back towards the light and grow a different way. Lots of twists and turns in direction we all have.” Had to agree with that one, not many people grow up and grow out in the same direction I thought. “We need to change direction from time to time just like them trees.”
“Sometimes them trees get pruned back, branches cut off. Life done pruned me some, recon it pruned you too” he said and gave me a glance. I had to agree my life had changed direction, been pruned a few times too. Some of that pruning hurts at the time even when it makes you grow straighter, I thought.
“Look at that one there,” he said, pointing to one large tree with a lot of branches going every which way. “He been reaching out for a long time trying to find the sun, when all the time it is up there above him. We peoples look all around for happiness and don’t even know it is there like the sun for the taking long as we don’t keep grown after every which way thing.”
The longer I looked the more I could see how he was right. Trees have knots and scars just like us. But they keep on growing, growing towards the light. Trees like people grow up or we die.
“What kind of tree are you?” He asked. I said I didn’t know exactly, just one that kept changing direction looking for the light.
Never thought about it that way I said to the old man. Mind if I share the “people are like trees” idea with some other folks? “Go right ahead” he said. “Can’t recall who told me.”
Ever since our talk I have been thinking about the way my life keeps changing direction but keeps reaching for the sky. What will this tree of my life look like when it is done growing?
Say what do you think? What kind of tree are you?
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books