I take my dog on a walk most every morning. The path is always the same--out the front door, down a power line path, and then we cut into the woods before emerging onto a road leading back to the house. It’s about a mile end-to-end, but with a young dog, sniffing every foreign object and eating many of them, it takes more than 30 minutes.
We pass a huge pine tree in the thickest part of the woods. It’s approaching 80-feet tall, with the lower branches bare and spiked, green needles only at its peak where it reaches for sunlight. The tree appears supernatural, so this portion of the woods has been tagged “the enchanted forest.” I’ve wondered how a lone tree emerges among the thousands of others, growing to such grand proportions. Is it just a matter of surviving longer than the rest, or was its size genetically determined centuries ago?
I can only imagine what this craggy, aged conifer has witnessed over the years, possibly even providing a resting place for the early settlers of North Carolina as they made their way over the Blue Ridge Mountains. If it were only possible to extract thoughts from its fibrous memory, what tales it might tell.
I’m similar to this tree in some ways. I’m past my prime, deeply rooted in my ways, and slow to give way to younger seedlings. I’ve also been around long enough to have seen and heard more than most. There are thousands of stories bottled up within me, too.
I’ll continue to pause and study the tree on my walks. Its presence and persistence are motivating. We have much more to share.