Recently we had a storm. Wind gusts up to 91 mph made the house creak and the windows rattle. It was so noisy that I didn’t sleep well, the storm continued through the night and into the next day. Early Sunday morning as I looked out a large window to the west of my house I noticed that the wind had uprooted one of our large shade trees. I also noticed the grass around another tree moved up and down as wind tossed the branches and limbs causing stress on the roots of the tree. I thought for sure we would lose that tree too.
Late Sunday afternoon after the wind had calmed, we went outside to assess the damage. We lost about half a dozen trees that day, and many others showed signs of stress.
These two trees used to stand side by side in my yard. As you can see the one on the left was uprooted by the storm. I am most intrigued by the one on the right Although the conditions for both trees were similar, it is till standing.
The picture below shows how the tree to the right separated from the dirt around it, and the tree is still standing.
Below is another tree, the top portion snapped and will need to be removed, but the rest of the tree is alive and doing well. Despite the damage it will survive and keep growing.
The two trees above made me think a lot about my life.
I realized that all of my trees came out of the storm with some kind of damage.
People like trees will come out of life with some kind of damage. It is unavoidable.
We all have to face the storms of life: death, divorce, depression, stress, anxiety….the list goes on and on. Not one of us will come out of this life without scars from the storm. Some of us will be stretched at our roots. Others might break under the weight, but find a way to keep growing regardless.
After the storm was over people were driving around trying to see how they could help others. The creaking sounds of the house and rattling of windows turned into the endless sounds of chainsaws. Teenagers on 4-wheelers, men in trucks, friends and neighbors were checking on each other and helping each other.
Whether it is a physical storm that takes down trees in our yard, or the storms of life that take us down we all need help. Unlike a physical storm that we can visibly see, the storms of life are not so loud and are often not visible to the naked eye.
Pay attention to those around you. Notice their eyes and their body language.
Today offer a kind word to a neighbor. Ask a friend how they are doing. Be present and show up for the people who matter most to you.