Sunday, May 22, 2016

Growing Horizontally

In an attempt to retreat from the wild nature of our everyday existence and to celebrate our 6 year wedding anniversary, Joel and I ventured, with Noelle, to my favorite place in the world- our family cabin.

Napping, eating, sipping all manner of drinks on the porch seemed to revitalize our weary souls until we felt our feet grow restless once more. So, we wandered down the hill to the base of our property where a spring-fed pond trickled into Brush Creek below.

My mom warned us that beavers had come to Cedar Rood and were destroying many of her favorite trees. We could not tell what they were planning to create but every new visitor had the chore of unblocking the stream from the pond that fed into the river due to their persistent efforts.  

Wandering towards this part of the land, we noticed the two large trees that the beavers had been chewing. One had been eaten totally through until it fell to the woodland floor, and the other was only being held up by a small portion of its truck. The fallen tree plummeted to the ground before Thanksgiving and had blocked our path to the pond. At some point, my mom moved it off the path so that it was out of the way and could become a home to some critter who took a liking to it.

To our surprise, as we checked out these two beaver victims, we realized that the fallen birch was still alive. Glancing over its stump, scraped and cut with large teeth marks, we saw that there was a small, splintered piece of trunk still attached to the stump. The piece could only have been about one-inch-thick which seemed an unlikely source of support for this 30-foot beauty.

But, Lo! The entire tree was living and every single branch was sporting bright, budding leaves.

Joel and I marveled at this sight and felt our hearts grow encouraged.
Perhaps, this is how life is. We just expect that because it is a tree that it will only thrive when it is growing vertically. But here, this Birch was growing horizontally. It was still living, still beautiful and still a tree.

Our lives have felt a little chewed and raw lately. In the midst of the mad rush it was a wonderful reminder from the ol’ Earth-Mother that sometimes if we don’t push against it, we can grow in unexpected directions. Just because life says we are chopped down, doesn’t mean we are dead. And not only could we still live this way, we can choose to thrive.

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