There is a certain kind of tree that I admire.
It’s the kind that gets planted on the sidewalk in those neat, square curbside dirt beds – maybe Willow Oak, Chinese Elm, Red Maple. And it’s expected to behave itself in those neat, square dirt beds.
Only it doesn’t. Because it wasn’t born to grow neat and square. And even though all the other trees on the sidewalk are behaving themselves as expected, this one just won’t.
Instead, it grows its knotty ramble of roots under and over and around the sidewalk in all these unbounded directions until the concrete – concrete which was used to build the Panama Canal and the Hoover Dam and the Colosseum in Rome – gives way.
And while I don’t like how the sidewalk must be avoided if you’re in a wheelchair or on crutches or pushing a stroller, I am amazed at how one tree can so fiercely go its own way.
See, this kind of tree is planted in cities with curbs and boundaries and expected behaviors, but it still knows how to be wild and defiant and loyal to no expectations.
Which I admire. Even love.
So, when I see these trees in these cities, they remind me, as I often need to be reminded, that we living things are born to grow in our own unbounded directions.