Those rings that sit below the hearty tree are certain and yet unseen. I imagine that this one has a good number.
The dark bark sits in between and over, and protects. It shields, it grows, and it layers. The growth continues unseen and often unnoticed. In fact, the only way to really see the long and preserved life is when it dies. A tree chopped at its base will certainly show the curious viewer how long it has stood but it will also kill. Life will end but curiosity will be satisfied.
A lesson I wish I had learned but 2 months prior. I should not be so eager to peel the bark, tip the tree, point the axe and count the rings. I knew it was living and breathing and thriving and yet I pointed with a sharp tip and inquired as to how many.
How many rings, what shade of brown, and how many more? My voice shouted these questions and they eventually caused the tree to fall. It could not stand the weight and who could blame it? The questions are not bad but they are not the purpose of a tree. It’s living. It stands firm and that’s good. It’s good. Why could my mind not take that fact in alone? Why could I not drink the simple wonder?
Oh, how our minds can be thirsty for the wrong kind of knowing. Curiosity should be aimed at the leaves, the nature of the bark, the shade casted by the beautiful limbs; not the rings that sit beneath the bark. And yet my linear mind strains itself to enjoy the unexplained.
I wish I could go back to that tree and simply sit. It’s no longer standing. The roots are still in place but the tall limbs sit on the ground wishing they could drink from the soil. I wish I could go back and simply wonder at the branches and the way it sways.
I wish I could just marvel at the tree with unknown rings. Here’s to the fallen tree.