The Little Tree

Sometimes my heart breaks for trees.

The ones in a forest, a field or anyplace where their roots have room to expand and their branches can stretch out are fine by me. I love a giant tree that’s so tall it almost appears proud and all-knowing, observing of everything around it.

Other times, I want to dig trees up under the cover of darkness and re-plant them in a better location. I think you know the ones I’m talking about.

They’re the ones planted in a 4×4 foot patch of “land” which, in this case, means a hole cut out of a sidewalk with a little tree growing out of it. But in a few years when its trunk is strong, its roots are trying their best to break free of their confines and the sidewalk starts to buckle, the tree doesn’t have any rescuers come to its aid.

Instead, city workers patch the concrete or smooth things over with a lovely coat of asphalt. If it’s at someone’s home, it may be cut down and ripped out without a chance of ever reaching its full potential.

Isn’t this sort of like us in some ways? We all have a beginning. We call a certain place home, and we usually do our best to play by the rules, know our place and grow up tall. But sometimes we need to move beyond the box and break out. Some will cut us down and tell us we can’t. Others will let us keep growing, but instead of helping us break out and tear down the walls, the asphalt gets poured and our surroundings get patched up — a reminder that some want us to grow, but only up to a certain point.

In times like these, we have to realize what’s happening and push back on them. Push through, break out, and give people a reason to realize your beauty can’t be tamed, nor be cut back. Give them the only logical option: to let you go. To let you set down roots where it’s best for you, not for them.

Some people do this without thinking. Others don’t. And tonight I am thankful for the former, for the people that know we all start out as little trees, but who help some become the little tree that could.

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