Enjoying the Little Things . . . on the Mountain

As I went on my walk yesterday, I began to delight in the pleasure of paying attention to trees. So many kinds, shapes and varieties of trees here on the Mountain. I can recognize them by their bark, their leaves, their height. But to really know a tree, I have to watch it closely: where it stands, how it moves, its relationship to other trees.

Think about the mighty Ponderosa pine. Tall, with branches clustered toward the top part of the tree. Strong, sturdy branches with flexibility to manage powerful winds. Massive roots anchor the tree firmly into the ground. This infrastructure runs deep to tap nutrients from the belly of the earth. If its bark is thumped or cracked, it quickly grows a new layer to heal that wound, that scrape. Evergreen is the name of this tree, for its needles grow day after day and are constantly replenished. As the old, dead needles drop to the forest floor, they create a soft carpet to insulate the ground below. This begins the cycle of decomposition as bugs and beetles burrow in to break down the load. The roots are able to absorb the nutrients, promoting further growth.

Next is the juniper. Sturdy, hale and hearty, it grows wherever it can get a foothold. Its branches are shorter and stubbier, giving durability a new name. Its shape is like a bush, more rounded to withstand heavy snows and drought. This plant also features buds, complete with yellow pollen in the spring to ensure new beginnings.

And then, there is the aspen tree. The Mountain is gifted with vast stands of aspens. Their gray-white bark is in sharp contrast to the brown of the pine or the juniper. The aspens grow as a community: their root structure supports the entire group. The runners grow out, then pop up to develop into yet another tree. They grow close together, supporting each otherl Interconnected, they nourish the clusterl To me, the aspen is a graceful tree, bending as the wind ruffles the leaves. And those stands of golden leaves in autumn are a sight to behold.

All of these trees weather storms, parasites and insects. They handle droughts, floods, heat and cold every day. And they continue to flourish and grow. Perhaps their bark gets bumped or scraped. They have to have time to grow back together. If attacked by an insect, the trees have to have the time to mend and repair. They can regulate their own resources to heal because that’s Mother Nature’s design.

You also have these resources, these capabilities. Your roots travel deep into your past, bringing experiences you can use to further your forward momentum. Learnings and teachings are gathered from many different situations over the years, providing knowledge and wisdom for growth and development. You, too, can repair and heal. Just as a tree needs time to grow, it needs rest during the winter before spring growth. You also need time to take a break, to take a look at where you have been and savor the moment. Your mind reaches to the sky for inspiration and creativity as your roots reach for nourishment and sustenance. You are in a perfect place to feel your connection with all that’s around you as you live on the mountain. How do you feel as you make your connection with outdoors?

I’m curious: How do you tap into your inner resources?

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