Do you have a fondness for driftwood like I do? I’ve been known to drag an interesting piece for miles and then let it dry out for three months if it was sufficiently unique!
Fascinating driftwood is often the tumbled root section of a tree. I spent time this weekend thinking about roots. Roots of our families. Roots of our friendships. Roots from our past that make us who we are today.
Our roots begin within our families, and if we’re blessed, any dysfunction is manageable and safe. Roots continue to grow and spread as we learn and grow older, putting out tender shoots that grow stronger as we discern our path. Through experience and hard-earned wisdom, we learn how to prune the roots that are unhealthy, and how to nurture the ones we want to be stronger. But sometimes, even with help, we cannot self-prune or self-nurture our roots and we must learn to live with dysfunction in our lives.
Have you ever seen the root of a great tree that at one time ran into an obstacle and was forced to change direction to stay alive? It’s not predictable or “regular”. That tree, like you, is determined to keep growing. The root of a tree that has circumvented an obstacle and kept on growing, lifting branches to the sky is often the most remarkable. For example, consider the roots that grew around an underground pipe, pressed up through the concrete, or burrow out of the side of a mountain. They kept growing. I contend that some of the most interesting driftwood pieces are those that have a challenged root system.
Consider yourself in a new light. Boring, nondescript, ordinary? Absolutely not! Think of a stunning piece of driftwood art in the garden, a driftwood piece like you – unwavering, a bit gnarly but tenacious, with some knotholes and scars, and learn to ADMIRE that driftwood all the more for the progress it made along the way.
May God bless the gnarly roots in your life for the visualization of challenges met – and grown beyond!
Linda Kreter and the VeteranCaregiver Team