Sunday, June 28, 2009
Each tree is an individual just as each person is, but it is easier to consider each separate specimen as a part of a general class. Cedar trees for example.
Just across the field below our house is an average sized red cedar tree, perhaps ninety feet tall and as many years old. It`s base is typically buttressed, it`s trunk tapering up to a fine thin tip. Along the way branches hold feathery leaves up to the light. Nothing special, that is until I look at it as an individual and see the subtle variations that separates this one from it`s fellows.
Like any individual, this tree has it`s personal history, the chance events of storm or drought that somehow spared this particular tree while condemning others. The chance that dropped it`s seed here along the streambed to prosper rather than onto the rocky outcrop nearby. The chance of placement and size that had me choose it`s neighbour for lumber instead. Here it stands, still swaying in the breeze, it`s branches full of a passing flock of birds. The chancy life of a specific cedar tree.
When I occasionally visit a ‘big box store,’ I see humans as a herd browsing it`s way along the aisles and know myself to be part of that general class of beings, drawn here for much the same reasons. They, individually, like me, have had a long succession of chance events through their lives that have spared them up `til now - ridiculously chancy happenstances that have no real logic to them except as in statistics of the many.
So, Mr Cedar, we are more alike than might first appear: we belong to the most important class of all: survivors up `til now!