Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Bent be four


Look at you. 
Adorable you. 
You look like the numeral 4, for real, you do! 
You are a tree, 
you are a 4, 
how can that be?

I must write about you.

You are a testament to courage and fortitude.

Life is like this. 

You are born, you grow, perhaps everything's normal, for awhile - but, whoosh, something, someone, some force more powerful than you, presses down and gets in your way. Maybe, it was something traumatic like neglect or abuse, maybe something less dreadful but still painful, involving lots of screaming arguments, punishing discipline, or, even, ignoring you, finding you invisible. Maybe it is poverty or tragedy or illness or some other force separate and bigger and yet put upon you, that presses its way into your path. Stunts you. Messes with you. You cannot grow straight ahead anymore. You avoid, you turn, you move away. Fully. 

For awhile, this is peaceful. Steady. You are blocked but not tormented, because you are not resisting so much as avoiding, keeping out of the way. Though you have knots from the tension you hold, the resistance you've shown, the anxiety within.

You probably doubt there will ever be another way. It is all you know. You make do.

Then, SURPRISE! There is an opening. Possibility. Opportunity. Take off! Go! Move on! Instinctively, you do. You listen to innate wisdom, you seize the moment. Unbelievably, you are able to grow, forward, straight up, unimpeded, and with fierce power and courage and strength.
You. Grow. Strong.
All things are possible! 
You have survived. 
You have bent your way around the ugly, finding new and miraculous growth, steady, wise, and shouting out, to one and all: persevere! believe! overcome!

Now, as you take a deep cleansing breath, pause for a moment and look to the side, 
back to your origins,
where it all started.
Look towards your childhood, look back at your early years - what do you see? 
Over there to the side - left behind - there is a part of you that holds on, remembers. When you least expect it, you will find echoes and parallels to those years long ago. You'll see it, especially, in your fear,  anxiety, and anger. It shows up unexpectedly. Despite how you strived to live your life so differently, you will not be able to avoid the past entirely. There is a part of you that will always be firmly rooted in those early days. 

It's okay. It's all you. Be forgiving of yourself and others. You are who who are. No matter what, you are worthy and lovable. 

It's amazing to think...

What stops one person, 
may not impede someone else. 
What one avoids, 
others may see and learn. 
What one believes and 
takes to heart, 
others may not even notice. 
What one models
may influence someone else.
Understanding what one does,
changes over time and depends on perspective.

So many possibilities. 

So many things that stunt us, stop us in our tracks. So many obstacles to make our way around. So many ways to inspire and grow.

Thank you, tree, for reminding me. 

Life is like this.

When all seems lost and painful, take a long walk and look for signs of hope and possibility in nature.


I wrote this post for Slice of Life.  All participants are writing about one moment, one part of their day, on Tuesdays. Thank you, Two Writing Teachers!


  1. We’ve had lots of wind lately, so I’ve been watching the trees bend. I’m always in awe at how strong they are as they sway. People are like that too, aren’t they? Nature offers us so many beautiful lessons and wonders. We just need to pay attention as you have in this wonderful tribute.

  2. This post gives us all so much to think about. I love how you address the tree. Trees are amazing! This one definitely has a story to tell - I am glad you told the version of the tree's story it told to you! Thank you for sharing!

  3. "You have bent your way around the ugly." <-- my absolute favourite line. This poem is wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing it.