Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Implications of Dormancy

Centennial Trail - Mile markers 7 - 9

I haven't run the Centennial Trail lately, but we did walk it a few days ago. It was a cold, fall day with a very brisk wind. The season is clearly over - few people, but the trail holds a beauty that is different from summer. Colors blaze everywhere, the squirrels and remaining birds are frantically busy.

This fellow watched us as much as we watched him.

As we walked, I passed plants that a few weeks ago would have been beautiful - full of blooms or bright leaves - now merely sticks. Unlovely. Unremarkable. If I didn't know their history I would have passed them by without a thought. The plants aren't worried.

It occurred to me that human beings are burdened by self-awareness. Those of us who are in stick form, not blossoming, not lovely, fret. Are we worthwhile? Is there more within us, waiting to manifest? Will we be loved when we are barren sticks?

Plants and animals are not weighed down with the burden of these kinds of thoughts. They simple ARE. Not worried about worth. No more valuable as gorgeous flowers than barren sticks. No concerns about how long their beauty will last. No comparing themselves to other blooms, wondering if they measure up. Not wondering if after their beauty is spent, whether they will ever bloom again. They simply ARE.

I know that the simple conclusion to this kind of thinking is to cut yourself some slack. Know that you are inherently worthwhile. Concentrate more on the moment, putting one foot in front of the other. I work on that kind of thinking daily.

But there are other implications.

How many people do I pass by without a thought? I don't want to pay so much attention to the appearance of people. It's so easy to love and admire the beautiful, accomplished, and successful. I want to be more careful with the unlovely, the unremarkable - the sticks. It is so easy to look past people just as we look past dormant plants, not even noticing them. I want to work harder to see the possibilities in people.

"There is more to us (and others) than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps for the rest of our lives, we will be unwilling to settle for less".
Kurt Hahn


  1. I feel it is impossible for you to ever appear dormant or stickish. You are aways the life for me.