Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Scar Tissue

A few weeks ago, Joe and I took a much needed trip to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. On the trip, we decided to take a hike, which was a great idea in theory but involved a lot more sweat and movement than I had originally thought.

Anyway, it was gorgeous. There were waterfalls, a river, birds, flowers, and trees. Did I mention the beautiful trees? There were all types (says the person who knows nothing about trees) and they were absolutely beautiful.

The ones that struck me as significant, though, were the aspens.

Apparently, aspens aren't like other trees...and one of the ways that this is true is how they handle people carving into them.

They develop a kind of scar tissue - and it's the strangest thing I've ever seen. They develop a harder bark around the wound - maybe to heal it from the pain and protect it from the elements? The bark in these areas is obviously still a part of the tree, but it's nothing like the smooth, white bark that surrounds the carvings. In fact, the new scar bark is actually harder than the original bark.

But as I continued to gasp for air reflect along the hike, it hit me that I have a lot to learn from these trees.

I have no doubt that any living thing hurts when something damages it. These trees didn't deserve the damage and hurt done to them. They were just beautiful and innocent. Someone came along and did something selfish. Someone else saw evidence of the pain of the aspen and didn't care. In fact, they added to it.

The aspens? They don't forget...not completely. Each person's mark leaves a significant impression. They are changed forever - scarred.

But they don't stop growing. Even as they heal the old wounds with harder bark, they grow taller with the same soft and supple white bark as they always have. The new growth at the top isn't hardened just because they've been hurt by the other people's transgressions.

The aspens soothe their wounds and yet keep on growing as beautifully as they were before the pain. They don't forget the pain, but they move on. They're changed irrevocably, but they keep going. They were wronged, but they don't let it hold them back from living the best life they can.

So why shouldn't I behave in the same way?


Wallene said...

What an awesome analogy - and perfect. You are so right.

Just as I have raised my children to be nice and kind to others - they also know they are never allowed to carve into a tree. The damage is permanent and you can harm the tree [or even kill it.]


PS Thanks for the great email! :)

Rebecca Jo said...


That is some pretty powerful blogging right there!!!

Lanie Painie said...


Last night I finished reading "When Food is Love" by Geneen Roth (yes, I know, I'm obsessed with this author) and one of the most meaningful chapers was named: "Being strong in the broken places." It described a lot about the healing process from our childhood traumas, how we had to go through a grieving process from those lost years and all of the loss that we suffered at that time. It talked about healing without confrontation and without forgiveness.

It's like you are inside my mind. Roomy in there, ain't it? Do you mind dusting? I don't use it very much, but I know it's quite dirty!

Lily Fluffbottom said...

Sounds like a beautiful hike. Nothing like Mother Nature to put things into perspective.

POD said...

You might not be able to behave the same way as a tree because I'm guessing that trees and humans don't share the same issues with feelings even if someone carves a design in your bark.

As someone who's old enough to be your mom, I have to reinforce that we are idiots. Once you get that fact into your head, forgiveness will come easier. I don't just mean saying, "MY mom's an idiot." I mean, getting this message at your core. We are to be pitied, not ridiculed.

Traci said...

Wow, that's deep. Love it.

TinaM said...

One of the best post I have ever read.
You are absolutely right, Never forget (not that you could), but keep growing. You are beautiful and strong, just like these trees.

Some trees don't heal, and their cuts lead to infection and they die. People are the same way. It's not there fault, they just are unable to heal from the pain.

But you ARE strong enough.
You have over come the cuts, and even let your branches spread out to help and inspire others.

TinaM said...

I may be out of line, but here I go anyway lol.

POD, I have to respectfully disagree.
Mom's decide to have children, not the other way around. If you have a child, it is your RESPONSIBILTY to protect them.

Yes, some Moms are just idiots... BUT when you fail to protect your child because of selfish reasons, you will have NO pity from me. Any Mother who decides to bring a child into this world, and doesn't do her very best, deserves any ridicule they get.

You don't get a free pass just because you gave birth. Rats give birth too. Human Motherhood carries on WAY after that moment. If a women can't handle that, they shouldn't have kids.

A child that has been let down by a parent does NOT have to get it through there head to pity that parent. That parent needs to get it through THEIR head that they failed that child... what they decide to do about it, is up to them.

Lesia said...

Holy Crap girl you can really write! I loved these post SO much! It hit a nerve I guess. Did I mention that I really loved these post? Well just in case I haven't told you, this post was AWESOME!!!!!

Lala said...

You are such a beautiful writer! Your blog touches me and inspires me every time I read it! I feel much the same way, I want to grow, but not have my path warped by the scars I have incurred along the way. I think having an open heart and letting your emotions pass through you is a big part of that. Right now, I am grieving my ending relationship, but I think that by letting those emotions flow through me, I will heal better and more completely--while there will be a scar, it will only be in the spot where the original wound happened. I will be able to open up my heart again when the time is right. Thank you so much for your beautiful comments on my blog, by the way, you have no idea how much strength you have given me! xoxoxo Lala

Lala said...

and oh wow, I love what TinaM said. Beautifully put! I so agree!