Jun 7, 2019

Growth


This Spring we planted a new tree in the back yard. It's one of our favorites for its beautiful branching structure, leaf patterns that allow dappled lighting to filter through, and for its spectacular fall color. We are so excited to watch it grow.

When we bought it, it hadn't started to leaf out yet. So we would excitedly check it everyday to see if its leaves had bloomed yet. One morning when I went to check on the tree, I saw the above photo. I was puzzled. That is not what I know the leaves to look like, nor is it the same color of leaf. Hmmm.

Then I became super intrigued and the thought hit me: the growth process doesn't always look like what it will become.

How cool is that?! I just love epiphanies. Of course I'm going to take take this example and extrapolate it out to real life. When I am in the beginning throes of learning something new, my learning process looks nothing like the final outcome. I struggle with the concept, I turn it inside out and upside down. I read all different viewpoints of it. And then I start forming my own opinion. Then the concept starts fleshing out in my own life. It's a messy, ugly, fascinating, beautiful thing to behold. 

If we're honest with ourselves, the growth process is messy, unpredictable, exhilarating, scary, challenging, bumpy, isolating, and often filled with doubt. We often fail before we succeed. And it's in the grip of those failures that the final experiential processes are formed and we begin to own that thought/idea/opinion/knowledge/truth. Isn't that beautiful?!

So the lesson, as I see it, is to be patient with ourselves and others as they are growing into who they are becoming. We can't mock the process, we must embrace it. We need to give each other space to grow, to mess up, to try again. 

The hope is that in the end, the growth turns into something beautiful. 


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