Last month, I was hiking with my fiancé (I am STILL trying to get used to that word…) in June Lake, California. During our journey, we happened upon some Aspens who had recently shed their leaves.
Much to my surprise and delight, these were not just any bare naked trees. No! These trunks revealed something DIFFERENT: a plethora of twists, turns, curves and organic lines. Unlike other tree trunks I am accustomed to seeing (which seem like they simply grow straight up), these Aspens appeared as if they grew up dancing!
Here, let me show you:
I mean, they are just WIGGLY little things, aren’t they? They made me giggle (and take tons of photos of them). They also reminded me of what true growth is like.
True growth (at least as I know it) does not occur in a straight line, from one direction to the other.
Quite the contrary. Real human growth takes ALL KINDS of funky twists and turns, spirals, “back this way”s and “a little to the left”s, all mixed in with the occasional straight line.
I mean, look. Sometimes life bends us:
Or it throws us for a loop:
And sometimes, we get scars along the way:
But no matter what, we keep growing:
These trees remind me that life is a dance of figuring it out at every juncture; of bending, twisting and spiraling as necessary. They also remind me to have compassion with myself and others, as we are all growing and bending, being shaped by the dance of life.
Ps. Did you know….. the largest living single organism on Earth is a grove of Aspen trees in southern Utah named Pando?!