Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Tree That Fell In The Woods

I wonder if you can tell what's happening in this picture.

Several storms rolled through Memphis last Saturday with high wind, heavy rain, thunder and lightning. I'm assuming this beautiful old tree was no match for the fury that swept through Overton Park.

But it's not the felling of the tree that gets me, though I always find it sad when a tree that has stood for decades meets its demise. It's the confusion of how this tree wound up where it is today. The point of fracture does not seemingly make sense. It left many park walkers like myself pondering, trying to reconcile the distance between the remains of this mighty sentinel and its splintered stump.

The guess is that the tree succumbed to its fate, toppled in one direction where it met the stone wall, then rolled and teetered into position.

Maybe. This literally was the tree that fell in the woods.

It's a cheap and easy metaphor to compare the once stately tree to life. The story writes itself: we weather so many storms. We sway with the winds of change, bend when we have to, and reach for the sky as we grown. Until the day comes when we are broken and left wondering, how did we get from here to there?

How do we take a hit, absorb a blow, get knocked down and tumble so far from where we started?

The hope is that we get a soft landing and learn valuable lessons.

I'm certainly nowhere near where I though I would be. But after a few sucker punches, life put me right where I need to be. And I never know if Memphis is the final stop on my road map, but I would be okay if it is.

I think that's true for all of us. We put down roots where we land, and with any luck we grow tall and strong. And if a storm comes along and brings us to our knees, we should be so lucky to have an entire forest of loved ones to stand watch, provide shelter and protect us.

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