Trees continue to grow toward the only
direction that they know how, which is up,
with no concern for shape
or aesthetics-
they just grow to where the sun beams each
day, unflinching-
trees can be knotty and craggy and full of
holes, bent and twisted and mangled,
lightning scarred or arrow straight or
knurled, or crooked, or malformed-
but they still grow-
trees don’t remind one another how they
or chide each other about the shape of
their bark, or the twist of their limbs-
they don’t spend days obsessing over
appearances or the depth of their roots-
their united goal is just to inch above the
line to where the sun shines the brightest,
and to keep on moving in that direction-
in life, our mission is to follow the lead of the
to seek out the place where we’ll be warm,
the place that will allow us to grow-
that will sustain us-
a place where our best interests flourish,
and our roots find water-
locusts latch on, and birds build homes
nature takes its toll, and loggers fell some
long before their proper time-
we harbor and carry many others along the way-
they nest within our arms and we give of our
fruits and ourselves-
many remain, many return, and even more
will abandon us-
but we still grow-
those symbiotic unions exist not to hinder us,
but to help us,
and we invariably help each other-
like trees, we can absorb whatever comes our way
and keep moving in the direction of growth-
and though we may emerge knurled and crooked
and broken, we will still have reached the
crisp air of the open sky-
it’s not about how we make it there,
just that we made it there-
it’s not about how we look after we’ve made it-
just that we’ve made it-
it’s all in the attempt-
when we attempt nothing,
that’s exactly what we gain*


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