Barking up the Right Tree

A tree wears its life on its skin.

Its roots may be hidden as it digs the ground; the rings in its trunk counted only when it falls. The leaves and twigs may be broken by the wind, but they will grow anew.

The bark shows all the scars of the seasons, the callouses from insects that burrow into it, the small garden of lichen and moss that it carries, the sap that oozes when it is wounded.

If a tree had a heart, it would be in its bark.

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Weathered

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When the Winter’s Gone

Winter is here and all the roses lie
Deep beneath the snow
That’s where lovers go
To hide from pain and sorrow

Never for sure when your luck will turn
Waiting out that snowy day

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Pardon me, sir, I think it’s up from here
Take this one from me
One day you’ll feel free
To fly away wherever you want to

You’ll breathe a sigh and see it’s time
To move along

Just a little stronger
When the winter’s gone, when the winter’s gone

– from “When the Winter’s Gone (Song for a Stranger)” by David Benoit and Jennifer Warnes


Growth

Light, Shadows and Whispers at the Bamboo Forest

I like the interplay of light and shadow at the Bamboo Forest of Akashiyama, near Kyoto, Japan..

As one walks into the forest, the rustle of the leaves whispers in your ear.

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It reminds me of a story about a man who wanted to quit and went to the forest to ask God for a reason not to.

The answer he got was right around him. God compared the fern — which blooms almost instantly and fills the forest with its bright leaves — to the bamboo, which for years after planting, had nothing to show. But He didn’t quit on the bamboo.

And on the fifth year the bamboo suddenly emerged from the ground and rose to the sky, growing several feet every week until it covered the forest with its canopy.

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For years the bamboo was silently growing its root system, so it could support itself as it ascends to what it can become.

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I sometimes look at these pictures to remind myself of the bamboo, and the light that shines though them, when shadows tend to overcome.


Ascend

Silent

Grateful for This Full Rainbow in Front of Me

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Though I’ve seen a full rainbow before, I’ve not seen it this close.

It’s right in front of me, touching the bushes and the coconut tree just 50 yards away.

Yet at the same time it seems far away, shimmering, even while hinting at a second rainbow above it.

Sometimes we receive gifts even if we don’t ask for them.

All we can do is be thankful.