Last eve, while we were sauntering the trail in Cape Elizabeth, a few of us got talking about the forest. About the oaks in particular, and two of them that were growing from the same source tree. I learned how they had sprouted decades ago from the stump of a felled oak, and grew together, interdependently reaching for the sunshine. Their trunks are tall and straight and their branches high up. We saw another oak, just as big around, but with branches much lower to the ground. This oak grew this way for a reason. The others took up residence in the shelter of the forest, where the canopy above them required that they reach reach reach for the sun. The low down oak grew at the edge of a field, where there was plenty of space to stretch out and find sun on a whim over here and over there.
At the pond, where we practiced the portion of the walk where we pause, a few of us got talking about offspring. Two of my friends gushed with pride about their daughters: Sprouts of selfhood interdependently gathering the nurture of life and love. Reach reach reaching to become expressions of who they are in the world.
We’re each shaped by the variety of relationships that surround us during our ongoing process of becoming. Marshes, beaches, fields, and forests. Rooted in some sort of soil. Reaching out to the gaze of the same star.