Makes me think of a tree. A good tree, like Little House on the Prairie-tree-in-a-meadow kind of tree. Does that tree care what we think about it? Does it even know we think about it?
Are trees sentient beings? Probably not. But maybe. Does a tree have awareness?
And even if it has awareness, does it get drunk on Tuesday night because of a bad day at work?
Since the dawn of time, people from every corner of the globe have revered limbs and branches, roots and trunks. And in all that time, I wonder if the tree stood a little taller or shed a few more leaves because of what some passerby thought. Did Charlie Brown’s tree change because the gang felt bad for it?
Your perception may not be MY reality. Hell, my perception may not be my reality.
To get down to an authentic life, a life that stands in the seasons and does whatever that life is made for, we need to think about that tree and why it is standing or lying on the ground or floating in a river. Trees live their life and don’t give a hoot about what anybody thinks. I like that about trees.
The tree can be ripe with apples or wearing a cap of snow on its bald branches. It’s doing the very thing it’s supposed to. Being a tree. Sucking up ground water and raindrops. Putting off leaves. Eventually it dies. Then it turns into mulch and mushrooms. But as long it stood, it never stopped being a tree. And it never once cared what I was thinking even as I swung my axe into its base. It saw the clouds in the sky roll by day after day. Still it stood tall, stretching for the light.
Can we be that real in life? Can our adventure through life be that free from other folks’ observation? What you think about the way I look, smell, or feel like when you bump against me in the hallway- that’s your stuff. And when I imagine what you thought of me, well, that’s my stuff. Neither changes the goodness of you and me.
Now, here’s hoping I can remember this thought, taking my cue from that little apple tree in the backyard. It’s going to grow, grow, grow or its not, not, not and it’s never going to be more or less of a tree because of me.
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