As I pulled into my parking space at the grocery store, I looked up from my steering wheel and saw Tree. Evidently, as it was growing up, Fence was installed with the idea that Tree would be on one side. Tree didn’t get the memo. Just kept growing…through, into, around Fence. Look closely at this picture. There are ways in which diamonds of Fence have lived so long with Tree that there are Fence-shaped scars. Us too. We carry our own fence-shaped scars, visible and invisible.
But as you can see, Fence was unsuccessful at keeping Tree from growing however and wherever it wanted. It grew anyway. It’s a big tall tree, full of fat, vibrant, green leaves. Doing just fine. Yeah, scars. Sure, some difference from your average tree. But look at it! It’s fine! Fence did not get in the way of anything crucial.
Me neither. I got fence-shaped scars all over me. Obsessions, neuroses, occasional bouts of depression, fears. It’s fine. Those are just diamonds of bark, somewhere near the bottom of my tree. But look up! Look at that amazing canopy. My friendships, my wife, my children, my animal family. My writing, music that came through me, quilts. My yoga practice, my teaching practice! An impressive collage of adventures, mishaps, victories, reassessments, and just plain amazing times.
Just because you grew up with a Fence, doesn’t mean you don’t have an amazing shock of bright verdant leaves blowing in the wind high up above that feed the roots of you. It’s ok to know where Fence is and how it’s lodged itself into your internal workings.
But don’t forget to look up.