Lately, I’ve been wound up too tightly with deadlines and decisions and the general cares of life. With the names and faces of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin swarming in my head. With trying to sift through all the protests and media noise for what is meaningful and relevant and for what (if anything) pushes us toward change and acceptance. Worrying about the vilification of good-guy police officers like my brother whose ethics sometimes make him a little unpopular with some others. Grieving with the mothers who lost their children and who are left to wonder why their children did not matter. Grappling with what all of this means for my beautiful brown child.
Walking with this level of angst is maddening and crippling. Makes it difficult to see the good and the beautiful.
A few days ago, a good friend-colleague and I talked some of this over during a brief lunch before heading to another event on campus. As we talked and walked, I studied our environment, particularly the trees. I remarked that I am practicing developing my eye, looking for the shot but resisting the urge to take it. When “lo and behold” this gorgeous image struck me!
“How can people pass this way,” I asked, “and not stop and consider the message of the trees?” In response to my query, we made up a lighthearted poem about trees swaying in the breeze. But inside, I was contemplating the wisdom they impart–all stillness and calm, unshaken by storms. Made healthier and more beautiful by pruning. Firmly rooted in the knowledge that their Creator manages all things well.
The tree held no answers and did little to lessen the anxiety, but it showed me how to be during this turbulent period. Firmly rooted. Still. Calm. Unshaken.