Monday, September 29, 2014

When You See the Changing Leaves, Think of This

This morning, I remembered one of my favorite Live with Flair moments from October, 2011. It's the one where my friend, Cynthia taught me about a tree's habit. Every time I see a tree in Autumn, I think about how my life takes shape and what I do to hinder or help this shaping.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Your Best Habit

On the walk to school, my rurally-raised neighbor (who knows everything about the land) comments upon the beauty of various trees' habits.  She informs me that a tree's habit refers to its overall shape.

She identifies trees by their habits.  Some trees squat and spread lower to the ground:

Others rise tall into the sky as perfect vase shapes:

Some grow into beautiful ovals:

And some unfold against the sky like Japanese fans. 

But as I look around me, I notice something astounding.  Some trees in the forest don't squat or unfold.  Some don't rise up and spread their arms wide.

I learn that if other plants or objects crowd a tree, the intended habit changes.  It diminishes.  Stunted and pressed upon, the tree loses potential somehow.

I think about the simple and natural need for space.  We have an intended shape--our best habit--but when crowded and pressured, we change. 

I think about making room for my husband, children, friends, students--and myself--to unfold, to stretch wide.  Do I stifle?  Do I crowd?  What would it look like to give everybody some breathing room? 

Today, I'm making space for my best habit to take shape.  I want to unfold like a bright yellow fan.

Journal:  Do you feel like you've taken shape into your best habit?  What allowed this?

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