Tree’s really aren’t all that different from humans. From the outside some appear to be big and strong. Some trees just look old. Like they’ve been there for all of eternity. Some tree’s look weathered, others may look like they house a thousand critters. When you really look at a tree it’s personality might jump out of you. Grandmother Willow in Pochahontas is an amazing demonstration of this, even if it is just an old Disney movie.
But, it’s once the tree has died that you see what it truly is like. Once you can see the tree rings you see how much life affected that tree. Tree rings show how much a tree grew in a year. Some years much more than others. A tree that appeared to be big and strong may have scars inside where fire touched it. It’s similar to an onion. We add so much to ourselves in a year. Layers and layers of hurt, strength, and growth, whether good or bad, are added to us all the time. We may not even realize how much something someone said, or something we did affected us, until we actually take the time to look at our tree rings inside of us. And how often are we doing that? On the other side, how often are we simply looking at someone (regardless of how well we know them) and just assuming that they are strong and powerful? When on the inside their “tree rings” may show battles we never even knew about.
We take so much time to look inside and wonder about all of the amazing things around us while most of us fail to take the time to look inside of ourselves, and it’s even rarer to take the time to look inside and understand what’s going on inside of someone else. We may think we know a person and everything about them, but when’s the last time you took the time to look deep? An old friend of mine recently got a tattoo of a tree ring, simply because we are from the Pacific Northwest but when I saw it on her instagram it made me think of how much more a tree ring can resemble.
I challenge all of you to take the time to explore what you might find when you look for the “tree rings” of either yourself or someone close to you.