winds and roots

In his book “The Art of Being – 101 Ways to Practice Purpose in Your Life”, author Dennis Jones D.D. tells of a 1980s experiment carried out in the desert called biodome. A supposed perfect living environment was created for human, animal and plant life. The environment was controlled with purified water, air and filtered light. In the early days of the experiment everything appeared to thrive extremely well. Everything except the trees thrived. As the trees grew, they reached a certain height then toppled over. After an extensive period of time and close observation, scientists realized that wind was not present in this controlled environment. With the absence of wind resistance, the root system of the trees did not mature. Instead, the roots remained shallow. It was the force of the wind and standing up to the wind that caused the trees’ roots to grow deeper into the earth. With a deeper root system, the trees also grew taller. Without the wind, the root system of the trees did not expand and allow growth.

Fascinating! Trees literally need the wind in order to grow and mature to full stature. As I consider this phenomenon, I realize that we too, as humans, need the winds of life to grow and mature to our fullest capacity of faith, strength, wisdom, and many other attributes.

I marvel when I think back over the winds that have blown in my life and dare I say, the storms of my life. As the wind blows and I struggle to remain steadfast and upright, I draw upon all that is within me. Rather than fearfully succumb to turbulent times, I have built a storehouse of resilience. I have become the enduring woman I am today because of the winds of childhood, the challenges of youthful adolescence, and each experience of this adult life.

As I allow myself honest vulnerability, I look back at some of the most turbulent times of life and they indeed are my greatest teachers and richest times of growth. The individuals who have come into my life have all taught me more than I imagined I needed to know. The experiences of this life journey, while some have been surprising, I see them for my education and for my evolution. They are here for the purpose of my good so that I become all that I am capable of becoming.

Without the winds blowing through my life, I would not know the depth of faith that I now treasure and call upon daily. I may not have learned that I have within me the ability to see good in every experience and in every person until good is what emerges for me. I may not know the profoundness of the unending Love of the universe. I shudder to think what life might be like without this knowing and the fullness of my intimacy with the Divine. This Divine that is so very personal with each and every being and transcendent at the same time.

As I sit this morning, the winds are indeed blowing. The skies are dark and the wind is tossing the leaves from the security of their branches. The wind it toppling the carefully stacked cartons in my neighbors back yard. Micah, my dear Golden Retriever, moves anxiously from place to place in our home. Sophia, my kitty, paces gingerly around me and Arthur, my other kitty, snoozes effortlessly on the guest room bed.

Yes, the winds must come, the rains must fall and just as all of nature grows and is nourished because of the wind and rain, so does my soul.

Blessings of the wind,
Rev. Karen