Across the road from my home’s driveway stands this aged tree. It’s been there since long before we moved here over thirty years ago. In this picture, it gives the impression of solid growth and stability.
Circle around to its back side and this is what you will see. Only three sections of outer tree trunk now supply life to itsspread of healthy branches and leaves.
Over the years, the center of the tree has eroded and all that now remains is a shell of a tree, its inner substance confined to just a suggestion of what it once was.
This tree constantly reminds me of something. I need to remember this tree each time I look at people, be they strangers I pass or friends I meet. I need to remind myself not to be influenced by what is visible to my eye. Time may have eroded the perfection of their outer image, but it is the inner core, strong and vital, that really defines who they are.
All over the sixteen acres of our property, mature trees have been stripped of their leaves and green growth by last year’s severe drought. They now stand as skeletons etched against the sky. With every strong wind, more and more of their dead branches break and drop to the ground.
Yet this shell of a tree remains green and growing.
Why do you think that is so? What makes the difference between trees that have succumbed to stressful times and another that has maintained its vitality even when much of its original existence has been eaten away?