This morning I had an appointment, and I had to sit in my car for about 30 minutes beforehand. There was this tree outside the office of the kind I think the Victorians would call picturesque. It would fit right in with the florid writing of a gothic horror set on the “blasted moors.” And I was looking at this tree and all this was going through my mind, and I was thinking about how this tree was shaped by it’s experiences and environment, by it’s relationship to the other plants and animals near it, as well as it’s relationship with humans and human behaviors. And I realized that I have never looked at a tree and thought “this shouldn’t be here,” “this is ugly,” “this tree isn’t tree enough to remain.” I know that probably sounds silly but there are things we look at and, no matter what the exact shape of them is in the world, we see them as wholly themselves- trees, flowers, and butterflies, canyon walls and rivers. We take them as who and what they are.

So perhaps we can look at ourselves- and each other- and simply see us all as wholly ourselves, as exactly the form in the world that our relationships- with plants and animals, soil and stream, ourselves and each other- have shaped us to be. And perhaps it is enough simply to say “yes” to that form. This Amy is wholly Amy and the shape she takes in the world is exactly as it is and that’s right and good. You are wholly you and like a tree or a river or a mighty mountain you are exactly the right shape to be you, and there is something truly, fundamentally well in that. And just like that tree, your shape can change as you continue to grow along the lines of the blueprint set into your bones and blood, as you continue to be in relationship with the world. Maybe my current shape is not able to gather enough nourishment from sun and soil; I can be wholly myself and also begin to change my shape to take in more light, more richness from the soil in which I am planted. I find there is a hope in that, and a settling into our own unique ways of being rooted.

May you be well. 💚🔥💦🌼

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