Monday, November 8, 2010

The Support of a Forest

I read voraciously.  I love that my phone allows me to read anywhere I go at any hour of the day or night.  The drawback is that I don't always know where I read or heard stories. This is one story that I would love to be able to track the origin of.

The story of the majestic oak tree is very powerful for me.  We are humbled by the ancient gnarled tree that grows on the mountain top.  Buffeted by wind and clinging to the bare rocky soil with every one of its twisted roots it somehow manages to eke out an existence at the very edge, sometimes for hundreds of years.  Yet its twisted and knotty wood is useless to the carpenter.  The carpenter seeks the long tall trees that live in the forest.  Forced by each other to stretch for the light, the wood of the forest tree is smooth and knot free.  The trees protect each other from wind and storms by their sheer numbers, and their interlocking branches and roots provide food and shelter for all manner of wildlife. Each year their falling leaves contribute to the fertile soil and help start the cycle all over again.

I believe that people are kind of like the trees in the forest in that we need each other to reach our fullest potential.  Alone at the edge of the mountain it is too easy to curl into ourselves and become twisted and immersed in our own survival.  It is in the company of others that we reach for the light, support those around us, and nurture those that come after us.  

Unlike trees, we people can move around and find a forest to join or build our own from scratch.  With our recent move I'm currently looking for a new community that will help me stretch out and reach for the light.  I'm very thankful that I have such a great online "forest", too.

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