Uprooted from a job. From a relationship, a marriage or a friend thought to be bound by trust. From a home. From a body that used to glide through moguls and hungrily chase down a ball. Uprooted, again and again, from what we understand about the world and our place in it.
On a recent morning hike, I left the dirt path and approached a walkway next to a closed gate, just like I always do on this route. Something was different. I looked down to see six of the walkway's bricks still pressed into the moistened dirt, but instead of lying flat, they'd been lifted sideways creating a low, bulbous wall. Sticking above this mound was a bowed metal pipe, like a dulled silver rainbow, one that carries wires to a light fixture hanging above the driveway. Upon further inspection, I noticed a pinwheel of tangled roots, clumps of drying mud clinging to each tendril. Protruding horizontally out of the root's center was a trunk, both it and its branches extending fifteen feet beyond the unscathed gate. Uprooted. How sad, I thought. But then I scanned up from the roots, from where the tree had stood until this week's saturating storm blew it down. In its place was an opening, something I'd never noticed before because the tree's bulk had blocked it from me. Now before me was a vast view of the forest below and in the distance, a large swath of the bay, its water glistening in the sunlight. What a blatant and beautiful lesson nature imparted to me that morning.
Life gets uprooted,
but it doesn't have to uproot us.
Particularly if we choose to come from a place of wonder, curious about what we can learn both through what came before, and as, if not more impactful, from views that are now available to us now. If we choose to explore versus ignore these views, harnessing our courage and vulnerability to see and feel what's really going on, both externally and internally. If we choose to let go of what already happened, what and perhaps who used to be, what or who could have been. If we choose to connect with new possibilities and with people who can support us in our growth. And if we choose to expand, tending, pruning, grafting, uprooting and replanting as we go, and offering to share our presence with others even in life's inevitable, challenging, growth-inspiring impermanence.