Here’s a story.
One summer, my husband and I decided to look into planting trees around our yard and we looked around to determine what to plant. He knew that one of my favorite trees is the cherry blossom tree, but given the harsh winters of Alaska–such trees would not survive.
The closest sister to the cherry blossom tree is the rose tree of China. It’s not truly considered a tree, but rather a short bush. Imagine the rose tree of China as Frodo to Gandalf’s cherry blossom–different in stature, but its beauty is just as equal.
We planted one of these bare root rose trees in our front yard facing the street where snow gets piled during the winter. We gambled planting it there and merely prayed that it’ll survive the winter. This was 2-3 years ago.
For the last 2-3 winters, Fairbanks experienced winter anomalies where massive snow accumulated for days, and then the white powdery substance would cease into a pregnant pause leaving its residents with anticipation for the next snowstorm. When the snow accumulates in our neighborhood, the yards are filled with mountains of hard packed snow. This becomes worse whenever the city decides to plow the streets, and they pile on the heavy thick concrete of ice onto the yards. There were winters when these piles were 6 ft. tall.
During the winter season, whenever I drive onto our driveway, I look to the section where this little tree is hidden beneath an avalanche of ice, and I wonder each time if she’ll survive–if the abuse from the plowing have finally taken its toll, and she merely gives up on her life.
When spring arrives, I refrain from expressing any glee when all that snow melts in fear that the act is premature, and may lead to some bad jujus.
Yet, she continues to thrive and rise through the avalanche of ice that covered her throughout the darkness of winter. As the snow melts, each layer of that cold brutality sheds exposing her resiliency.
She survives once again.
As she does, she becomes more and more beautiful each spring.
I wonder in amazement how she can be compared to some people who have faced adversity in life, and yet possess empathy and compassion for others. People who have been recipients of hatred, and who walk away with battle scars from a war that they did not initiate and still find beauty and kindness in this world. People who continue maintain graciousness and gratitude in a world that have been lacking these characteristics lately. And as the world becomes tattered in places within its moral fiber, there are still those people who continue to hope that those who are lost may find their way again.
Don’t we know some of these people? Aren’t we inspired by them everyday?
But, I digress.
It’s not as if we can learn a thing or two from a small majestically resilient little tree, right?