Life is Like a Tree

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I visited a grove of trees near my home. They are ever there from season to season. Unmoving, changing only by years and not by moments. Storms come and go and there they sit. And then an old oak falls and we all mourn the loss of its beauty, the pleasure we took in its shade and how it graced the grove.

Our whole life is like a tree. Slow and nearly permanent, changes that are only perceptible over decades of time. Always there, slowly forming in our grove, ever there to be found. Life rushing by, cars, inventions, wars, taxes, children, college, loves, marriages, losses, fears, victories. But there stands the tree of our life. At new seasons we see change, leaves dropping, leaves falling, leaves sprouting from new blooms.

What kind of tree would I be? An oak that is renewed by the season. A pine that only points upward and is undisturbed by changing times. Perhaps a scrub brush or a bramble. A fruit tree or a poisonous one? Do I cool those around me made weary and worn by the heat of the day. Or do I only adorn the things around me?

Like a tree, our life is a long and slow symbol of choices and environments, wherein we remain, until felled by forces beyond our control we sink back into the earth as fodder for the next generation to grow from.

Shayne Mason Vincent, MSW
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