I live in the Sunshine State. My baby granddaughter and her parents do not. I want to spend as much time as possible with them which means I am spending a lot of time in what we not so affectionately call the land of perma-cloud. I raised my son, the baby’s father, 50 miles east of here where the winter sun is just as absent. When he was young and I was younger, I declared that since we lived in a place with winter, we should make the best of it and find winter things to do that are fun and interesting. My son learned to love hockey. He learned to ski. I learned to appreciate watching him do these things as I discovered that he did not inherit his athletic ability from his mother.
It is 37 degrees today which in this part of the world qualifies as a heat wave. So in the spirit of that young mother that I once was, I decided to ignore the gray sky and my desire to be on the beach. Instead I went for a walk and looked for something interesting to photograph. I walked a few blocks to a nearby park. In the middle of that park full of ordinary trees with straight trunks and branches, I found these two trees.
Their trunks are not straight. Their branches reach for the sky in a way that is different from the other trees in this park. The branches of the tree in the foreground are curly and spread wide. I imagine that more than one child has tried to climb this tree and I wonder, what is their story? Why are these two trees so different from the others? Were they here before the park was establish and left to grow as they were? Or were they planted here and changed by winds and rain before they had a chance to become established?
I spent most of the day alone so today I was looking at what makes a particular tree interesting and special. But I often wonder the same things about the people I encounter. Some of the most interesting people I know are very different from me and as I get to know their stories, my life is enriched by these differences. And so I wonder, what’s your story?