Branch Out

Joshua_tree_1I am fascinated by Joshua trees. Some grow in a single column, some have a few twisted branches that make their silhouettes resemble people in unusual poses, and others are truly majestic, with dozens of branches reaching out in all directions. Whenever I cross the Mojave desert in the evening, I see them as spirits of the desert, waiting to strike a new pose the moment I look away.

Last year, I asked a man at a cactus shop why there is such a vast difference in the trees. He told me that each time a tree is injured, it splits, growing two branches from the injured point. The bigger the tree, the more it has been wounded.

Our wounds contribute to our growth in much the same way. Painful experiences are the opportunities that foster our development, provided we don’t cling to the pain itself. There is a big difference between, “Look what I’ve been through,” and, “Look what I’ve become!”

Branch out. Bless those things that split you in two and force you to grow. The more arms you have reaching for the stars, the greater your chance of catching them.