In a storm last week a small tree was uprooted in our garden - literally it's roots could not take the strain of the wind and rain that beat against it.
|I absolutely love this print - find it here
What grows a tiny seed into a mighty tree? Is it not the effectiveness of the roots? The roots seek out nourishment, they lock and tangle into the earth so that they can steady the tree against forces that come at them.
Thing is.... roots aren't pretty, they look scrappy, they spend their lives covered in dirt, they don't see the sun and they have to filter out all sorts of junk to make sure that the plant stays healthy.
I think it's a lot like that in real life. I can spend a lot of time on the foliage and even the tree trunk but neglect the roots because really no-one sees them anyway. The roots are the real me - the way I think, the invisible things I do, the times I chose the right (or wrong) even when no-one is looking. The roots are made by who I choose to tangle my life around, how I spend my moments and what I fill them with, how I really feel about myself, others, God.
The pressure is on to be a tree that looks beautiful, that produces beautiful flowers, that has tasty fruit and amazing leaves, that stands tall not twisted and bowed..... how easy it is to become a topiary expert and forget that in the storm it is the strong, unseen roots that sustain and not the beautiful fragrance and position in the garden.
I'm grateful for the roots in my life and I'm challenged to invest in the roots that will keep me strong in the winter and nourished in the summer. This winter I'm actively retreating and allowing the roots to get nourished and I'm actively seeking input, opening up the roots to scrutiny because even though that it's really hard I.want.strong.roots. I'm asking questions, I'm listening, I'm learning and I'm letting go of the pride that tells me I'm the only one who knows how to grow a tree with strong roots. I'm letting go of the fear that stops me letting people at the roots in case they are disappointed by my lack of substance.
I hope that I will grow - deeper, stronger, fuller and in time it will reflect in the tree.