Several years ago when the winter storms hit I thought I was going to lose part of my back fence. The fence had seen better days and should have been replaced but time and funds stopped me. So now there I was in the teeth of a gale with a fence that looked like it was going to end up in the neighbour’s garden if I didn’t take action.
As a temporary measure, I got some rope and tied the flapping fence to one of my trees. I figured that the tree was accustomed to giving with the wind and would help bolster the fence while the storm raged. Then when the spring came I would move getting a new fence up the list of priorities.
The rope did the trick and I managed to keep the fence going until it was replaced the next spring. At that stage I cut the rope but somehow forgot to ever remove the rope from the tree. Truth being, I forgot about it until I happened to be working in that part of the garden recently. The tree has now grown around the rope, its trunk enveloping the rope so that rope and tree have become one. I couldn’t detach it now even if I wanted to.
Seeing how the tree had adapted to the presence of the rope, accepted it and continued to thrive made me think about the shocks, emotionally and physical, that we sometimes face. From relatively minor upsets to major life blows like cancer or bereavement we have a tendency to think we are not strong enough to cope but like the tree and the rope we always find a way through, a way to be ourselves in the teeth of the gales of life. We take the shocks on board and the wounds become part of us, subsumed we carry them with us until the rawness subsides and scar tissue forms. Battle hardened but smarter we are more resilient from having been tested and grow strong enough for the next onslaught and the next.
We are all moving through the different stages of this cycle continuously. If you find yourself at the stage of heart bleeding rawness, where you think you cannot cope, think about the bark of the tree gathering the rope to it and growing around it. One day your body and mind will fully absorb the shock of what you are going through and you will come out the other side. I know because I’ve done it. You are stronger than you think.