Recently we had a very long, large limb fall from our huge wild cherry tree out back. It happened at night. I was sitting in our kitchen, and I heard a loud, low “whoosh” during the peak of the storm. While I can’t be sure of it, I believe I may have heard it fall. The limb is still hanging there, hung in another tree, waiting for us to take care of it.
When I saw it the next morning, I was so thankful that no damage had been done by its fall. And I was relieved that it was the only tree casualty we had. It is awful when storms damage homes and wreck lives. But to me it is also tragic when trees, especially large ones, are toppled. No amount of insurance or rebuilding can return them to their former state.
As I drove to work that morning I saw all the trees along the way that remained straight and tall. The storm the night before may have bent and tugged at them, but there they still were. When I eyed the larger ones, I thought of the length of time they had stood, through innumerable storms, and still carried on. As sturdy as they are, they are only able to remain, through the storms, because they are resilient.
I was reminded of several people I know who are resilient. Those who have lost family members to untimely deaths. And those who have faced illnesses, or estrangements, or other tragic life circumstances. Many have been bent, some broken, but because of their resilience they have been able, somehow, to awaken after the storms in their lives, and look above, and determine to carry on.
I know that one reason the trees still stand is because of their deep anchoring roots. And I am aware that resilient people have roots as well. I want to strengthen my own roots, and somehow to help others reinforce theirs.