Prompt: Go to flickr.com/explore and write a post inspired by the image. Can you link it to your health focus? Don’t forget to post the image!
I must confess that I did not write a new piece for this prompt. A’Driane from Butterfly Confessions and I swapped posts a while ago based on this picture I snapped while on a walk with my husband one evening. It couldn’t be more perfect for this prompt. So please forgive my recycling. Can we just call it “being green”?
A tree stands in a garden, nestled between stone buildings of importance and dignity. Reaching out from a small patch of green near a brick pathway, its branches twist and turn in a ragged, unrefined manner. The bark, speckled with spots of white, reveals its age.
This tree did not choose its lot in life. If it had, surely it would have chosen a larger pasture, one which isn’t hidden in shadow most of the day. A field, perhaps, filled with flowers and fed by sunlight and gentle rains. Instead it was planted where even basic needs would be a struggle to fulfill.
And instead of withering, fading behind the shadows of the surrounding foliage, it reached its branches toward what little light dappled the garden. Stretching out at an odd angle, its trunk carried the life-giving leaves up to the sun, until it could no longer hold its own weight. The roots strained against gravity. And then… salvation. In the form of a simple wooden frame, erected in defense of this tree – in support of its persistence.
My husband says, “It’s so sad. Why don’t they just cut it down?” Recoiling in horror, I look at him with shock and disappointment. Can he not see the beauty in this tree, this being? The beauty that instead of lying in youth or perfect form, lies in its strength and will to survive. This tree, which has taken a beating from both nature and time, all the while fighting for life in the face of unfortunate circumstance, still has shade to give and leaves to nurture. It is not less for needing buttressing, but more for welcoming it, growing up from its second trunk in gratitude. Its worth lies simply in its existence.
I wonder, would we have even stopped to notice it, had it been perfect? No, most certainly we would have walked by, never noticing the beauty in its vulnerability. I want to say, “We are the same. I see your fight, your resolve. Keep reaching for the sunlight; keep surviving.” Instead I simply snap a picture, in awe of what this tree has taught me about myself in an instant.