Sunday, March 1, 2015


Photo taken on February 12, 2015 on a solitary trip to Southern Utah.

In 2008, I read a book that changed my life. It set me on a journey that to this day I am still traveling. The book was a collection of parables that used symbolism to illustrate profound truths.  It was written in a language that I understood. It is a language that I speak. Here are a few paragraphs taken from parable number 5 entitled The Weathered Tree from the book Ten Parables.

"A solitary tree grows in a crack of this cliff. The tree lives in the most difficult spot. To look at it, it appears there is too little soil for the tree to have begun life there. Once life began, it looks as if there would be too little water to sustain it. And even if its life were possible, the wind never stops blowing at the place, pushing the tree in one direction, then another, never stopping. The tree has been buffeted and blown relentlessly throughout her difficult life. The tree on the cliff is weathered and beaten. It could not grow straight, but was twisted by the buffeting of the wind as it grew. The weathered tree spiraled as she grew upward. Once she was struck by lightning, which charred a side of her and tore her original upward reaching arms. Though she suffered injuries which would kill most trees, she miraculously returned to life bearing a dark scar from the lightning on her side and injuries to her up reaching arms.

Year after year the trees all grew. Some trees reached heights, while the weathered tree fought for more root space in the granite in which she was planted. Her height was stunted as her energy was spent in the struggle for root space and her lack of available water. She was twisted, so that her height was further limited by the turns her difficult life had taken. The forest trees below mocked the weathered tree. They lived in companionship with each other, strong and straight. The solitary tree above had her shameful, twisted body on display for all the other trees to see and mock. “It was right to have this tortured tree kept apart from the rest,” they said, “for she would never fit in with our beautiful forest below.”

 The weathered tree remains there today. She is crooked, windswept, scarred and standing alone on a granite cliff. But her life’s sufferings and many injuries have made her wise, and her children regard her as the greatest beauty in the forest. It does not matter she stands alone, for she lives in harmony with her family. Because of them she is never alone. Because of her, they are never without hope."

Photo taken on February 12, 2015.