Growth of Pines

Growth of Pines

A Reflection from Douglas Wood

Growing seems to be a common trait among living things. But I wonder if anyone’s ever done it better that an old pine. If you’re a pine, growth seems to have a lot to do with making the best of where you get started. Sometimes that’s just a bare-bones, blustery, rocky outcrop of a place, inhospitable, with little soil or shelter, nurturing or encouragement. It may take a long time, but you somehow come to grips with it – this starting place. You reach and reach, stretching needy roots over naked granite, through tiny cracks, down into crevices. Until you finally find the footholds, the stability and sustenance you need. Then, someday, somehow, you transcend growing up, while at the same time growing down, and growing out. Growing through all kinds of disasters. Growing through them. And that’s all there is to it, it seems. Grow. Down. Out. Up. Don’t stop. Just grow. Simple enough. But maybe it’s the hardest, most important thing in the world. Maybe everything depends on it. Maybe the whole world depends on it. – Douglas Wood

As a young teacher in Minnesota, Douglas Wood first encountered the writings of Sigurd F. Olson, and his life was changed. Wood has also worked as a wilderness guide and musician. His children’s book, Old Turtle, has won numerous awards. He is also the author of Paddle Whispers (1993) and Minnesota Naturally (1995). This meditation about fortitude is from the book titled Of Earth and Sky – Spiritual Lessons from Nature. There is a copy of this book available in the Good Shepherd – Madison Campus Library.

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