Not Broken, Just Bent*


 I have been walking in the woods for the past 3 weeks. Around my home, I walk in farmer’s fields with big sky and very few trees to speak of, so walking in the woods as spring was unfolding. was a feast for all of my senses and was exhilarating. The smell of the plants springing out of the newly awakened earth was so rich. I saw turkeys, deer, grouse, an owl, porcupines, and although I didn’t see them, there were coyotes and I saw their marks. I felt pulled into nature’s embrace. Ummm.

Spring has been late and for 2 weeks I have walked there watching for the first blush of green to appear on the budding trees and finally it happened. The leaves were unfolding. That is when I noticed that many of the trees, cracked and bent by the long winter and ice storm were budding too. Every day their leaves pushed out further, along with all of the other new growth around them. I stood one day and stared at one particular tree.

“That tree is going to all of the work of pushing out buds and it is dead. It doesn’t even realize that the winter killed it”.  I walked along shaking my head. It wasn’t until later that I realized my arrogance or should I say ignorance.

The tree was bent, not broken. It woke up to life in a new reality, but it didn’t lie down and die. It decided to move forward with its life anyway. It no longer looked like everyone on the block but it was doing its best and joyfully, with all of the energy that spring provided.  Later on, the caretakers will move on to the property and probably cut down anything that has fallen over the path but many of the trees, now stooped, will continue to grow even with the changes. What strength nature shows us. What an inspiration.

There are days that I feel somewhat broken. I hope that I can put on my clothes and dance in the wind while I adjust to my new reality.

*with thanks to Pink

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