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Trees and Me

This is a journey into Restoration. Of me, and of you, if you’ll join me.

As I walked recently, the realization hit me that people are a lot like trees. Now before you start hollering ‘TREE HUGGER!”, let me explain. I do love trees. And the seemingly limitless, beautiful array of glory God has given us to enjoy in this life of ours. Even lichen. I love lichen. No, not “lick en,”  “LIKE IN.” The tough yet fragile organism that makes it life on decaying trees. Life where we think none is left.

So getting back to trees, and how we are like them. Trees of the same species look similar at first glance; aspen trees all tend to look pretty much the same. Same for ponderosa pines, oaks, maple, redwood……. But look closely- in reality, each one is completely unique. Not another like it. Each has it’s own flaws, shape, growth pattern, and beauty. Each reaches for the sun, twists and presses upward, (and downward) for warmth, sustinance– survival.

Trees grow at times, where  nothing realistically should grow. Worthless soil, little moisture, brutal winds, relentless sun. Somehow they survive.

So, as humans, like trees, we each carry our own uniqueness. Beauty. Faults. Challenges. Tough living conditions. Good years, bad storms. We all grow differently. Each of us has developed our own coping mechanisms that shape who we are. Genetics and life’s circumstances are thrown into the mix, and thusly we find some thriving in rich soil, some tenaciously clinging to life on the side of a mountain, and most just living their days taking what comes their way.

Our souls yearn for sunlight, strong, well-fed roots, and to flourish. That is at the core of each human being. It is built-in; God-given. It’s how he wired us. Trees are hard-wired for survival, and do whatever they can to press on towards that goal.

Ok- so trees don’t realize these things. Most people don’t either. They have no idea what their beauty is, what they were designed for, or how to thrive in a seemingly barren wasteland. Yet somewhere so deep within us, we hope there is more. Lichen live in an environment we perceive to have no value left. There is restoration to be had for each of us- drawing us up from barren, rocky soil, and giving us the ability to be a flourishing beauty. Even in that same rocky land.

I am so thankful for my uniqueness, my purpose, and my God that is showing me how much he loves me- with my gnarls, snarls. I’m thankful He still sees only my beauty. And for trees to help me see. And for lichen. Just cause I love it.

-Erika

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About Erika Chowning

God-crazy, and sometimes just a bit crazy, I'm in awe of the beauty and glory this life offers. I am a Masters Level Practictioner of Splankna Therapy, which is a mind-body-spirit therapy model. I'm a currently single mama to three beautiful souls, and I love to be in the middle of God's creation, adventuring and exploring, laughing, dancing, playing and whatever else fun I can find. I'm a believer that life is rich when we become aware of the little moments placed before us and embrace them fully-the joy, sorrow, beauty, love and pain. Life is so short to be too serious, but there is so much devastating brokenness all around us that feels crushing. My writing is about a journey into wholeness and restoration. For me, you and those around us. So won't you join me in diving into our experiences and hearts? Feel free to share a thought or many, and please, please, love those you're with.

7 responses »

  1. You lied to me, Erika. Or maybe to you–you said you weren’t a good writer!

    This.is.fabulous. I’m going out to look at the trees now.
    –Teri.

    Reply
  2. WOW- great start girlfriend! You ARE a good writer. Keep going.

    Reply
  3. Erika, what incredible, insightful writing! What a delight to read – because you’ve expressed yourself so very well, because you are my daughter and I’m so proud to read what you wrote, and because you express so much that I love too – tree shapes and lichen and moss…

    I love you, Daughter!
    Momma

    I’m sending this perhaps a second time — trying to navigate my way through this new method of communication. Cans on strings were easier but strings don’t reach from KS to Colo.

    Reply
  4. Wow, Is that my little sister writing with profound spritual guidance?! I think this is a great way to get started plus it will be easy access for inspiration when I need it.
    This is my first time on a blog, can anybody see me? (cause I’m in my underwear). I tried tweeting at the same time I just can’t seem to make the bird noises right.

    I Love You and I’m very proud of you.

    Brent

    Reply
  5. Pingback: The Mighty Oak and the Quaking Aspen | Danroberson's Blog

  6. Pingback: The Mighty Oak and the Quaking Aspen | My Blog

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