Success is a fruit of slow growth – Henry Fielding

I look out the window to see the snow; I haven’t seen that “once-a-memory” view in quite some time. It was beautiful, my breath fogging the cold window. Awestruck, I just stood there….watching, imagining, and creating for 20 whole minutes. A lot for me as my mind is always swirling.  

A large tree sits right outside ahead of me, so old it’s been there my whole life. My 29, almost 30 years and it’s unbelievable that I can’t see the top from where I stand any longer…or could I ever? Thirty years for that tree and its neighbor are only a sliver of its time since it first laid its root or even seed. As the snow falls, I look at its intricate details: 

One base is rooted in Mother Earth, where it was born. Its trunk is whole until it breaks off into two small trunks; they rise high into the sky. Each one with much smaller, but still sturdy branches going in all different directions at different levels or ages in its life. These continue as far as I can see, but I can’t help but notice how spaced out they are from each other, how few there really are. Sometimes even more branches forking off from those, but still just as strong. How magnificent its roadmap is. Many more branches and twigs are found growing from these, I observe carefully as they stick out and intertwine with each other. Hundreds, maybe even thousands of them go up and around this beautiful source….but many are so close to falling.  

These ones hang on, but for how long? They await to be pushed off, to fall, or maybe to leap. Does it need to grow another centimeter? Millimeter? Micrometer? Or maybe it’s from the wind or the heaviness of one more snowflake. Its branches barely have leaves left, yet sphere-shaped nuts hang up high. Its bark peeling off in big patches in every which way….I ponder. 

This elder tree through my window is so strong, yet frail. I know they say the tree of life….Could it be my life? I’m unsure, but I relate to those sticks about to fall, yet they hold no fear…or do they? 

Success is a fruit of slow growth – Henry Fielding 

I look at the tree to my right which has always been my favorite of the two; it sits closer to the entrance of my house for all to see. I notice how many more leaves it still has, then how many more sticks and branches, and how full it looks all the way around. The trunk…. only has one base….all the way up to the top.  

I scoff as I realize that its foundation is strong. I scoff because I realize that at the time I began writing this story over a year ago, I wished this plentiful, beautiful, full tree was my life. Maybe that’s why it’s always been my favorite. It may have a stronger foundation than mine right next door, and it may be this and it may be that and that and that, but it’s not….my life. My big, bright, and sometimes dim, beautiful life.  

You see my life is my own and your life is yours and it doesn’t matter the way to the top, what it looks like, or how long it took you to get there. It matters what you do with it. 

By Kellie Stagge

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