Day 30 – Growing to our highest height


While outside playing with Jack yesterday I took a picture of an oak tree. We have lots of water oaks along the coastline in Mississippi and some of them have grown to huge sizes. They’ve survived for centuries, storm after storm, year after year. And I started to think about how that happens.

People mention building your roots a lot. In order for a tree to grow it has to anchor itself in first. But I think sometimes what we overlook is just how root systems work in trees. They grow down to form an anchor, and then they spread themselves out. They branch out in all directions creating the right amount of support for the tree itself to branch out in any direction it needs to. As we grow in life, we can’t just grow in one direction. We are multifaceted and complex. We have multiple talents, multiple needs, multiple areas we are capable of sharing in, of growing in. We have to make sure that we are tending to all the different areas in our life in order to grow as high as we can grow.

When a tree gets injured on one side, those branches can start to whither and die. The whole tree can end up weakened, because it’s no longer in balance. So the tree starts to regrow that branch whenever possible. New life will emerge from those areas that we’ve left untended, even when they were areas that were hurt. Whether it’s because we ignore those areas simply because we have so many things we need to focus on, or if the areas are damaged from things that have happened in the past, the chance for regrowth exists. And not only does it exist, it is necessary for us to find our balance again. For us to thrive again. We have to make ourselves as strong as possible in order to weather the storms in life, and to do that we have to pay attention to all of our branches.

Sometimes when we let things constantly eat away at one part of our life, it finds its way into the other areas as well. Inevitably we end up unhappy, unfulfilled, and unsatisfied. We get lost. We don’t know what’s wrong because so many areas are now at risk, and finding the source of the problem is hard. It’s easy for poison to find its way in when we can’t find the wound to close it. So it’s extremely important to begin paying attention, looking at ourselves and really realizing what needs to be done to help us feel whole again. They are not voids that can be filled by others. They are things that exist within us.

We have the chance to do great things and be great people in even the smallest of ways every day. We have the chance to grow ourselves with every sunrise and strengthen our roots with every sunset. Every branch we extend outward has the chance to touch someone. To help create fresh air and breathe new life, without do anything other than functioning at its best. By weathering the storms we have the chance to help someone else do the same. We just have to grow ourselves in all the different directions we can. We have to allow ourselves to be human, to be people. To have faults and weaknesses, but not let them overcome us, because we all have many ways to grow.

About laurenc129

I'm a mom. Sometimes my hands turn orange. Other times I write. On twitter: @laurenc129

Posted on May 30, 2012, in 31 days of May and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. From one blogger to another – you are a fantastic writer! I love this!!! It spoke to my heart so deeply. God has shown me areas of my life where I have “hardened over”. I wasn’t even aware that this had happened until I started to isolate and guard myself from every one and every thing. I believe in appropriate boundaries but to cut off every thing and every one is NEVER healthy. I’m beginning to restore and rebuild at this point. Thanks again for writing – keep it up!

    • Wow, thank you, that’s so nice!! I have found myself building up walls and closing myself off many times. It’s hard to remember to stay open. Or to reopen yourself up sometimes for me. It’s so important to do though. Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate it! 🙂

  2. weather is so destructive. we had a tornado in southern vermont of all places. it wiped out alle trees in our backyard. we looked out the back window from the kitchen. all you could see were trees right up to the house lying on their sides. katrina on the other hand that was devastating. hurrcanes ar so brutal. trees are never the same after that. lost a birch in the side yad last winter. i thinke birch is my favorite tree. but then i loved climbing pine trees when i was a kid, so you went to rockerfella center, that is an amazing tree. use to live close enough to NYC to go there often by train. Christmas is insane in NYC but the tree is definitely worth it. were you able to take in Broadway show. that’s why i went there so often. i love Broadway. we haven’t bee able to do Chistmas trees for awhile. we tried branch, then potted pines and planted them in the spring but our cats would just try to pull it down or dig out the potted ones. we gave up. now it’s lights around he windows. hope spring is b kind to you. in vermont it went from th hottest of summers backwards into winter in th 40s at night. well, take care. jen

    • I live in Mississippi, so we don’t really have spring. It’s been in the upper 80s and 90s since the end of April. I always say I’m going to visit somewhere where they have a spring and a fall. We basically have summer for 10 months and winter-ish for 2 🙂 My cats used to attack our christmas trees as well. But not this year, which was nice. We didn’t get to go to a show because we were only in the city for 48 hours, and we did our christmas shopping there. We actually found some pretty good deals, but it was literally 2 days before christmas, so I think that’s why. We didn’t really think through the luggage weight though! But I loved it. I love new york. It felt much more comfortable than I ever imagined it would, considering the largest city near me is New Orleans and there aren’t even a million people there.

      • NYC is great. when i lived near it i seemed to be always going to or coming from it. i do miss it. now New Orleans, Katrina was horrible but the city is putting itself back together. i;ve never been there but it would be one of the places on bucket list to visit. to bad you weren’t able to see a show. that is something quite special. you were brave going to NYC 2 days before \Christmas. i did that once.the sidewalks were wall to wall people. it was insane. try it sometime during a quieter time if there is such a thing. LA is interesting. it’s so spread out. you hardly see people. i was there awhile ago. San Francisco is my fav after NYC. take care jen

  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog and introducing yourself. Nice to meet a Mississippi friend. I live in a spot in N. FL, ringed by beautiful oaks. Love sitting on the front porch swing and enjoying the shade. Just this week, I had stepped directly beneath one of the tallest and tilted my head up and marvelled at how tall it really is.

    • We used to go on vacations in northern florida a lot when I was young. The oaks are pretty there, and the water is much nicer than it is here! Thank you for sharing and stopping by here 🙂

  4. You know, this is exactly the sort of thing I need to hear right now. What a wonderful analogy for growth. As I try to balance my life, I have to constantly do a lot of “pruning” – cutting off branches that choke healthy growth on the strongest of limbs, so that I may clear the way for branching out on the strongest of branches. The difficulty is sometimes knowing which twigs to prune, which areas to clear away. It seems to me, this is a process I will be doing my whole life (ah, how exhausting “yard work” can be!!! haha!) … but I suppose that is the best way of things.

    Thanks for sharing. I will need to return when I have more time – I see more posts I want to read! 🙂

    • Thanks, and that’s too funny! You are right “yard word”! Is exhausting!!! 🙂 Thank you for stopping by, we’ll be here anytime you want to return!

  5. Reblogged this on Shining And Sharing and commented:
    This is exactly what I’m talking about! By having the courage to reach out into the world I am already, and it’s only been 6 weeks, meeting other brightly shining and sharing people like Lauren and her wonderfully written and divinely inspired blog – Between Fear and Love. Shine On, Lauren! You are loved.

  6. good analysis and i love trees. they are the most amazing growths on the planet. your photo is just perfect. one could get lost in that tree. thanks jennifer

    • Thank you, I’m a big fan of trees myself 🙂 And that one is in the yard behind ours. I like to go out and look at it. It calms me down I think!

      • i know what you mean. i have many photographs of trees in all shapes and degrees of having or not having or changing the colors of their leaves. lying under a tree and looking straight up into it can really space you out. when i was younger i use to like to lay under the christmas tree after it was decorated and just look up. what is the fascination? did you know that the root system of the tree is exactly like the structure of the tree as it grows. the same with the branches. they are all symetrical. unless struck by lightning or taken on by an enormous storm. 😉 beech trees i think are some of the best in color and shapes.

      • The trees along the beach here are now all out of shape and kind of strange looking because of the storm surge and the wind from Katrina. But they are starting to fill out again which is nice. They came through and put a bunch of palm trees in after the storm to try to make up for the oaks, but they’ve been dying off. They look out of place here anyway.

        And Christmas trees are one of my favorite things about Christmas time. I love just sitting and looking at them still. I went to see the one in Rockefeller Center a few years back and my friends all said I was going to pass out from excitement. It was pretty exciting, I could even smell it before we could see it 🙂

  7. Your post made so much sense for me , I’m struggling with several problems from my past , they seem to be leading to a major change from years ago . Thanks for visiting my blog as well…writing has helped me more than anything…

    • I so strongly believe in writing! I know I’m biased because I’m a writer, but I swear by it’s therapeutic attributes! I hope you continue to find your way, and continue writing. 🙂

  8. captainpractical

    I would like to visit the Southern States in the US one day. Ireland is known for its priests and living in New Zealand the past 5 years has really made me appreciate my home country but also NZ. They have Kauri trees here that are amazing. Trees I feel are a direct link to nature and our ancestors.

  9. captainpractical

    Hi Lauren,

    I really like the way you articulate your thoughts in such a clear manner and you certainly have a gift. Growing up in Ireland where Oak Trees are steeped in History , I can understand now why as they can teach us a lot about life.

    • Thank you! I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland. My favorite priest is from there 🙂 It’s interesting how good nature is at teaching us about ourselves.

  10. A good metaphor…If we concentrate too much in one area of our life and ignore others in the end we will wither also…Diane

  11. Amazingly well put.

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