Last week, my friend Amy and I went camping near Capitol Reef, and near the visitor’s center, by the creek that runs alongside the Fruita campground, there was a TREE.
I've always been fascinated by trees. They call out to me and draw me to them, and I think they're all beautiful and unique in their own way. But this tree. It was huge, obviously ancient, and it had a stately presence like none other! It stopped me in my tracks. I leaned against a low-hanging branch and gazed up at the tree, and asked what wisdom it had for me. Literally, I talked to the tree. And here's what immediately flowed into my mind.
From the tree to me. . .
"You are a lot like me, Connie. Study me, and you'll see the similarities. You've lost people and things you've loved, and you've been hurt deeply. Your life has weathered you and made you strong, sturdy, and wise. It's made you resilient and diverse and interesting, and robust. Sometimes you look in the mirror and think you look old, and it bothers you, but don't ever be embarrassed about how you look. Sure, you might have some wrinkles and lines, but don't believe they make you less beautiful. Hold your head high and be proud of your looks. Know that your age marks you, and makes you uniquely you, and gives you attractive character that's priceless".
I walked closer and really studied the tree.
I'd been drawn to its energy and enormous stature from the minute I laid eyes on it, and as I looked at it more closely, I realized that this tree had a lot going on! There was a massive knot in its trunk where a large and vital branch had been ripped out. I instinctively knew that the tree had been hurt when this happened, as if losing the branch had broken a piece of the tree’s heart.
I looked up and saw that several other large branches had been cut off at their bases, which had caused the tree to grow new smaller branches that twisted and wrapped around other branches in a very unusual and interesting manner. Where branches had been removed, it had forced new growth in an unexpected direction and created an admiral look that enhanced the tree’s beauty.
This tree was rare, and it was a beauty. It was deep-rooted, gnarly, and scarred. It was magnificent; a force and powerful presence. Just standing near it made me feel nurtured, protected, and supported.
I hugged the tree and pondered its message to me. It felt good to be connected. Finally, I let go, and as I walked away, I swear I heard the tree say, "Claim your magnificence Connie, and be proud of all you've overcome. Be proud of who you've become as a result of your heartache. Celebrate your journey and tell your story of growing strong through adversity. Stay strong, and keep reaching up and branching out".
Thank you, Fruita tree, for sharing your sage wisdom. I am taking your advice 👍🥰