“I love a metaphor. I don’t know if you know that about me.”

-Karamo Brown, Queer Eye, Season 5, episode 7

I walk through the world, unaware.

Until one day, I notice.

Noticing changes me. Not a grand, flashy sort of change; rather a quiet, seeps deep down into the marrow sort of change. The kind of change that impacts what I see when I walk through the world. I am aware.

I have been walking past this stretch of the woods for years.

Today I admire that branch reaching out over the trail for sunlight. See how it reaches so much farther than the others? I hear it calling to me, “I am here. I matter. See me.”

Today I do more than admire that branch and notice its reach. I pause to better understand it. I lean in to listen to its story.

As I approach, I follow the branch right down to the earth. It is not a branch at all. It is a tree. Imagine that! A whole, solid tree trunk bending and stretching in pursuit of light. The same light surrounding trees have reached with a linear, unobstructed path straight up to the sky.

I see the struggle this tree has gone through in seeking sun. But it is not only the struggle I see.

I also see the beauty.

This tree is not beautiful despite its struggle.

This tree is not beautiful because of its struggle.

It is simply beautiful. And its truth includes struggle.

I see the tree in its individual glory.

I see the tree as a stunning contribution to the collective forest.

I want to protect the tree. I want to rescue the tree.

This tree does not need my protection. It does not need my rescuing. It is not better for my awareness of it.

Instead, I sense that I am better as a result of listening to its truth. Perhaps I am the one in need of rescue.

I continue my walk.

Seeing one sideways tree opens the door to notice others.

It is a big forest. I have a lot of noticing, leaning in, and listening to do.

7 thoughts on “Rescue

  1. That’s a fabulous last line. Just reading the detail you notice and the reflection you have slows me down. I want to practice this kind of noticing when I walk.


  2. Such a powerful post. I love how you wrote about what you noticed (the struggle and the beauty) and underlying it all is so much meaning.I need lots of noticing, leaning in, and listening too.


  3. i read, and read again. Too often we walk around too absorbed in our thoughts, not noticing nature, people, issues, or even ourselves. Things are not inherently bad nor good, it’s our judgement and attitude that shades them. Once we become more aware and present, it’s again for our benefit not for the things. Thank you for the reminder.


  4. Yes, that tree spoke to you and you listened and discovered. That’s what happens when moments slow down and we can pause to ponder. I always admire the trees who seem to grow in a new pattern. Winter is the best time to find these treasures because they can’t hide behind the foliage.


  5. I love how you noticed, and pondered, and reflected, and brought it back to your life. Perhaps we can learn more than we thought we could by just paying attention. Just like writing … you have to stick your neck out there, reach for the light, twist and turn the words around, all while knowing you are grounded in a solid foundation. Your photo, your words, that tree are all beautiful. We are all better for noticing, leaning in, and listening.


  6. Ahhh, my world is back on its axis because you are writing again. I am glad. Your reflection is powerful and your craft is exquisite. I like the beauty the struggle brings to the world.


  7. There is so much more to this than just noticing the tree. It gives me much to think about, but your writing usually does this to me! Thank you.


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