The other day while hiking on my latest favorite trail, I noticed a fairly young tree, bent over by snow. It looked as though it was staring at its reflection, a black and white, two dimensional mirror of itself. As I continued hiking, my compassion for the weighed down tree took on new meaning. I know what it feels like to have a heavy load on my back, forced to take a close look at myself and my life. There were times where I thought that I would never quit drinking. Years actually, where I thought escape from the jaws of alcohol was an impossible dream. I realized that the laden down tree will eventually stand vertical again when the snow melts, stronger having survived the weight of the winter snow.
We have all faced different challenges during our lives. I like to think of mine as teachers, there to evolve me into the next version of myself and show me what I am capable of. I am grateful for these moments in the mountains when a reflection catches my attention and offers insight into my human experience. A chance to feel compassion for a young tree and myself, showing me what I have survived and serving as an example of what is possible. Never give up, Spring arrives after every sort of winter.
– Shurone H.