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And The Tree Bore It All


The year was 1980. Or somewhere around that time. My grandfather doesn't really remember. The tree you see in the picture above was tilted towards the ground, almost fully fallen. You see, there had been a storm. Just a few days ago. It's impact was devastating. One of the coconut trees in my backyard had been incinerated by lightning. Most of the plants my grandfather was growing were spoiled. But he wasn't going to let it destroy anymore. He summoned a group of almost 16 men, and they tied a rope around the half-fallen tree's trunk. It took a few hours, but they were eventually able to pull the tree back up straight before the soil settled around it. But, a scar was left. Just like the scar left on my right cheek after I had recovered from chickenpox. Just like the scars left on my father's hands after an infection. The tree had been scarred. The ropes which had been used to pull it back up left a deep, gorging mark where they dug into its bark, straining against not only the force of almost 16 men, but also the weight of the tree itself.


This tree has been in my family since before I was born. It grew as the household grew, as my grandparents moved in with their son, my father, and as my mother joined in. As I was born, after we moved, and after we demolished and re-built the house it had been behind for so many long years. It grew and eventually made peace with its scars. Its bark now covered it, but never hid it entirely. Much like us humans, the tree was able to move on from its past. But it never truly forgot it. Instead, it wears the scars it has sustained proudly. Almost flamboyantly (or, at least as flamboyant as a tree can be). There's really so much we can learn from these tender beings. And after learning all of there is to, this tree still gives me mangoes!

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