I like to hike in the mountains and when I do one of the things that continually fascinates me are the visible roots of trees. Oft times, they have surfaced in unlikely places as they climb granite walls or seek alternate paths to sustenance. The intricacies of their interwoven tendrils can move sideways as if in a slow motion dance along dirt trails. Tenacity and inventiveness articulate their routes to needed nourishment in order to keep their tree going. Maybe one of the reasons I’m drawn to their beauty is because they are an important life theme as in: to be rooted, grounded, sustained. Expressions such as “get to the root of a problem”, “grass roots”, “root something out” populate everyday speech. We all see images of citizens being uprooted due to climate, poverty, war…all the ills we know. We read reports of farmers abandoning their parched fields when their plants can no longer take root. We hear of whole communities seeking a place to put down new roots. Easier for some than for others. Perhaps to some degree we are all feeling a bit uprooted these days as new normals emerge in a constantly changing world.
I recently had a birthday and I’ve decided to work metaphorically with the idea of roots during this spin around the sun. Having been somewhat uprooted ourselves over the last 20 months, my partner and I are exploring the idea of what it means and where it might be that we would set down our new roots. Daunting and exciting both as we look afresh at life’s parameters such as we experience them to be. For my roots, words like beauty, efficiency, simplicity, family, light, view and a connection to nature come strongly to mind. Also the desire for the all important dining room table around which we can come together and break bread tugs mightily at my heart. These random concepts feel like the beginning of tendrils that make for good trees.
I like to think that in direct relation to how deep our roots go, we can grow in equal measure to touch the stars. Standing in front of a majestic forty plus foot pine tree the other day as it swayed and twisted in the wind, whose roots could be up to 75 deep, I felt this viscerally. It seemed to be in communion with the heavens. With that image in mind, our aim is to root in the good, root in the divine and then to watch our tree grow. Hold a good thought, will you? In the meanwhile, I wish you and yours a rootin’ tootin’ good time!