Wednesday, July 19, 2006

grown up

This morning, while riding my bicycle down the road here at the lake, I was suddenly struck by the size of the trees alongside the road. I know, that sounds like a rather obvious observation, but what caught my attention is that I was unmindful of those trees for the longest time, and now there they were all grown up.

When we first bought this place 16 years ago the surrounding countryside looked a lot different than it does now. Sixteen years is a long time for things to grow and mature. Those trees along the road (some kind of evergreen) that got my attention this morning where only about a foot high back then, having just been planted by the county as an eventual windbreak. Now they are twenty feet high and nearly as wide, creating the windbreak they were planted for, as well as providing a genial habitat for all matter of critters. Why I didn't notice them before today is a mystery to me, but my inattention imparts a valuable lesson, I think.

All too often we proceed through our lives without taking notice of the day to day changes that occur in our lives. We fail to notice how things are growing and maturing until one day we are surprised at the changes that have taken place. All those 16 years ago, my two children were 13 and 9 years old. Now suddenly I look around and see mature adults, where little saplings stood before.

It's not that I was ignoring their growth into adulthood, but for some reason I still, and will probably always, regard them as my little kids. I think that is a parrent's perogative. But I can't ignore the changes that have taken place in their lives and mine, and certainly will have to accept those changes and, I hope, revel in them.

When those trees were planted they took a bit a nurturing and at least a minimum of care to survive and grow into the magnificent specimens they are now. My children are no different, except the amount of nurturing and care was a bit more extensive. The result is prety much the same; they are both now mature. They are both functioning as they should. They are both successfull in their lives. Trees and kids--pretty much the same.

And now that I've noticed how those trees have grown, I am certain to take a closer look at my kids and how they reached this stage of growth. While they were growing into the adults they are now, I'm sure I didn't notice the daily progression they went through. Suddenly there they were, full grown. Sure, there are tons of memories involved, both good and not so good, but still, all of a sudden all those years have passed and I feel like I didn'nt take quite enough notice of their passage.

Let that be today's lesson. When you plant a seed, care for and nurture it, and be mindful of the daily development of that seed. Be aware of each day's passage and the effect it has on that seedling. Notice every stage of delvelopment and revel in the maturing process. The care and nurturing of plants and kids is a serious undertaking. The end result is a strong and capable adult, mature and thriving. As parents and gardeners, we can ask for nothing more.

Just pay more attention along the way.

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