Grow Like the Maple
Grow Like the Maple

Flagstaff, Arizona

     Each man is a tiny seed at birth; insignificant and in need of water and sun.  WIthout the right nutrients he will soon die and be forgotten.  But if the seed is planted in rich soil and watered with care, it will grow up into a sapling, with youth and flexibility; with tender green shoots that bend under the weight of wind and the elements- will dance in the storm and the rain- kiss the earth under the weight of snow but will not break.  When summer comes, the sapling springs back to its natural state as if nature never devised an attempt at murder.  Loss will be rejuvenated and loss will be forgotten.  Thus is the cycle of nature.  The sapling stretches out it’s fingers towards the sky but still cannot reach heaven; though he cannot comprehend the futileness of the effort.  Therefore dream your dreams as big as the universe and do not faint when change is forced upon you; neither stop to consider the reality or the approbation of the notion.  Watch the birds dip and turn around your space; aspire to become like the ancient trees which surround and further stretch out your fingers heavenward- always reaching for the sky irregardless of the return.  Speak to them in whisper and inquire as to how they became so old.  Soak up their wisdom like water into your veins; wisdom which will reveal itself someday in colorful garment.  

The earth: with each revolution around its axis grows older; so also is the sapling made stronger with each turn.  Ice melts with the changing season, and dew falls from barren fingertips in warmer climate.  The winter does not last forever; therefore prepare yourself for the coming spring and do not lose sight of the morning sun.  Become stronger with new life as the hardships increase; strong enough to uphold the young bird and his mother; strong enough to sustain the colony of ants that reside within; strong enough to supply shade for the footsore traveler, both rich and poor alike.  Faint not during the deepest night; rather grow forth leaves which play music in the breeze; and inhale toxicity destroying the poison.  Sing to the moon and the stars even when you feel depressed and your sap has slowed to a mere trickle.  

Plant yourself near the mighty river- surround yourself with positivity and life giving support; uproot those weeds which rise up to choke existence and smother joy.  And when the seasons turn and the seasons change; grow into a mighty maple tree.  Build a fortress of rings around yourself; shield the white flesh with heavy bark walls- the core of which never changes although the outward appearance does.  Always remember the sapling in the middle; always remember the days of your youth.  Even in old age remember the former seasons of hardship, when the wind buffeted and tossed- when you bent but did not break.  And never stop there; never become complacent through memory, foolishly thinking that you have overcome the wicked one- increase your knowledge and wisdom; actively seek understanding and learning.  Do not become content with ordinary mundane existence, strive to become a mammoth of strength, stronger than you already are; an ever expanding behemoth of wisdom and a solidarity of moral truth.  Create an astrarium underneath your shade; build a unique environment around mighty roots that sink deep into the earth, securing yourself unmoving and unchanging through the darkest midnight and the bitterest cold.  Nurture a microcosm of rest within your shadow; shelter those who seek rest and turn away those who mean harm for the weary.  Become for those who require it, the epitome of safety from the raging storm.

When other trees rise up around you, intertwine your fingers to those strong souls and block out the sun from plaguing the distant floor.  Blot out the light- let the soil compost into a rich and sustaining greenhouse, supple dirt out from which fragile life can spring and thrive; within which other saplings can become powerful trees like unto yourself.  In the spread of your canopy also let an entire universe gather; with trill and song the birds will fly hither and fro; to and from the city upon your branches.  Let them leave in the morning and return at night, small messengers who speak of your glory and which proclaim your might to where you cannot go.  Converse with other trees in austere shout commanding respect but at the same time whisper humility as in former days- inspire poets who lounge upon your structure old as time and strong as Thor; ribbed with age but spry with youth.  The remembrance of the beginning sapling always fresh under your skin; the mark of torrent weather always upon your skin.  Let your branches become unnumbered; lofty creations which stretch upwards at last reaching heaven; realizing the dreams that were dreamed in youth.  Branches which release seeds to grow into more of the same.  Let the seeds be carried away on the summer wind- perpetuating your great name towards distant land.  Carried away on the breeze but never forgotten in memory. 

Fall comes and your leaves turn to glory and vibrate with vibrant color.  Soon they shrivel and die with the snow and ice.  But no longer do your arms bend with the wind or stoop with the weight of snow; instead the wind bends to you and the snow stoops down off of your strength; it falls off of your skin like water dripping from a mountain spring.  Streams form down walls of grooved and thick bark- rush down the steep descent; carrying needed life to those below.  Sap seeps from your pores providing sweetness and pleasure; which slows in the winter and quickens in spring.  Thus matured, march steadily onwards into the annals of history; blazing new trail and leaving behind a wake of thankfulness that will not soon be forgotten.  Carve your name into the hard dirt, make an impact on the world while you still exist.  As the evening fades with golden hue, and the sunlight dies in mortal pew; remember again that youthful lust- the furvor for life not turned to dust.  Lift up your eyes in pleasant surprise, for a life well lived- never dies.  

When the days of rejuvenation have passed; when the seasons have reaped their reward, tumble to the earth with a resounding crash; with an epicenter of destruction make your final throes known.  Through the woods the traveler hears your timber snap and twist, and laments the passing of a great being; of an unmoving force of brutal nature, strong in fortitude and unchanging through time.  He who remembers his own youth wrought upon your boughs will mourn your doom.  The poet whom you inspired will write songs and sing ballads about your passing, and will sit upon your grotesque corpse now rotting in the dirt; saddened but inspired for generations to come.  In death your legacy will live on all the more- your death will resound through history- echo off the distant canyon walls, and create a changed environment for your former inhabitants, still suitable for life; still sheltering the poor and destitute; still housing the underprivileged beetle and rabbit; still providing shade for the weary; now providing a seat for the footsore.  Your glory will not fade with the setting sun, but will turn to a destitute beauty.  When the sun filters through the rising dust, men will sing your praise.  

Your children will
rise up and call you blessed; you who was once robed in splendor and now feeds the next generation with life.


Hadley, Massachusetts

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