The tree that grew on a rock

There’s at least few of them on every hiking trail in the world. The heroic trees that grow in places where no trees should ever grow. You can see all odds are against them, but for some crazy reason they keep on surviving.
On a bare rock. 300 feet above the ground. On the shaded side of a canyon. With nothing to hold onto, no access to nourishing water, sometimes even the sun. Growing sideways, twisted ways, roots hanging down off a cliff, looking worn out and tired.
Photo: Jos
I can’t help feeling sorry for these trees. Life hasn’t treated them fair. With nowhere to stretch their roots, all their lives was a struggle to survive. They never had enough water, enough energy, or enough support. They can’t even pack all their stuff and start a new life somewhere else.
If I were one of these trees, I’d probably complain a lot. All the other trees in the forest have enough resources to live by, and never have to worry about the weather breaking them down. They grow tall and beautiful, much taller and much more beautiful than my sad little tree self will ever have a chance to be.
Why am I not allowed to fulfil my true tree potential?
Is it karma? Bad luck? What have I done in my previous tree life to deserve this?
Or maybe the Universe hates me for no reason at all?


I am not one of these trees. I had a lot luck in my life, and I’m really grateful for it. I don’t know where I would be now if I wasn’t so lucky.
Maybe that’s why watching these trees grow is such a profound experience to me. They don’t know how to complain. They don’t know how to compare their lives with all their tree peers around.
They simply take all they have, and grow it into the most beautiful thing that they can.

One response to “The tree that grew on a rock”

  1. Maria, What a lovely post. I also find myself wondering about what appear to be “struggling” trees. But maybe they don’t suffer in the sense that people do. Perhaps it is just a matter of seeking out what is to be found to nourish one’s being and, in the process, showing the world all the beauty that effort produces. I know I am always grateful to see that spare loveliness. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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