#ThursdayTreeLove | Knot So Beautiful

There is good in life every day.
Take a few minutes to distract yourself
from your concerns–
long enough to draw strength from a tree…
–Pamela Owens Renfro, “Reach for the Good”

August has been a strange month so far. I have felt “out of sorts” most days and have been so swamped with “things to do” that I’ve found far too little time for the things that add color to my days. This has made me even more grateful to be back on campus with the trees. The heat makes my time outdoors brief, but a [literal] moment with the trees every now and then does much to right my spirit.

The knotty tree above caught my eye as I walked past it with one of my colleagues. Naturally, I paused to take a snapshot with my phone camera. Although my colleague was grossed out by the knots, I was intrigued. I wondered about the tree’s story.

Trees develop knots in response to “stress”—weather, insects, injury, viruses. The knots are evidence of healing and repair. They give the trees character, and if we think about it for a second, it’s pretty amazing that trees are capable of creating beauty from something that can potentially destroy them.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we were more like trees? Perhaps, we are more like them.

To some degree, how we respond to tension is a matter of choice. Instead of internalizing our stress and creating destructive knots that can lead to mental and physical illness, we can respond to it in productive ways–praying, meditating, journaling, creating, crafting, singing, speaking up for ourselves, setting healthy boundaries.

If left unchecked, stress can leave us damaged and unhealthy. We transform these undesirable effects when we work through our stressors in ways that create beauty in our hearts and lives.

As for my colleague—no worries about her. If she continues to hang around me, she’ll be looking at trees in a different way very soon. 😉


I am joining Parul Thakur for #ThursdayTreeLove every second and fourth Thursday of the month. If you would like to play along, post a picture of a tree on your blog and link it back to her latest #treelove post.

21 thoughts on “#ThursdayTreeLove | Knot So Beautiful

  1. Ellen Hawley says:

    Grossed out by them? They’re beautiful. I didn’t know that they form in response to stress, but I’ll think of them now as the lines and character that you see in people’s faces as they age–all the things that can make them worth looking at.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lona Gynt says:

    This beautiful and timely. We have a symmetry yesterday, I wrote about lots to do, walking, stress shaping who we are, the lift of changes…
    What’s knot to love, leaves us speechless, changes turning, while a light’s still lighting the weathered bark of an old new friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anjana says:

    Hi Chandra. Thanks for sharing this post and the picture. It is such an inspiring thought. Never even dreamed that the trees undergo stress as well and awed by the way they deal with it. Simply loved your post.

    Like

  4. Parul Thakur says:

    I never knew this fact about the knots that trees have. I am always intrigued by the knots. I loved how you made the analogy of the knots and the stress we have. Well said. We can do so many things so help ourselves and each other.
    I know Chandra it was a hot day but I am glad you took the time to click this picture and share with us. Thank you for joining. I hope to see you tomorrow. 🙂

    Like

  5. Unishta says:

    I find these knots intriguing too! We havea very knotted banyan tree in our compound and I always wonder what made it tied up in knots. And you’re right about trees attracting people . Before you know it your friend will be an avid tree spotter and thank you for it

    Like

  6. Shalzmojo says:

    Oh I love them too and cant think of why anyone would be grossed out by them. They lend so much character to a tree. The gnarled trunks with bulging knots always remind me of a fairy tale setting 🙂

    I didnt know that trees develop knots in response to an threat – this is so interesting to note. Thanks for sharing this tidbit.

    Like

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