Your Best Habit

On the walk to school, my rurally-raised neighbor (who knows everything about the land) comments upon the beauty of various trees’ habits.  She informs me that a tree’s habit refers to its overall shape.

She identifies trees by their habits.  Some trees squat and spread lower to the ground:

Others rise tall into the sky as perfect vase shapes:

Some grow into beautiful ovals:

And some unfold against the sky like Japanese fans. 

But as I look around me, I notice something astounding.  Some trees in the forest don’t squat or unfold.  Some don’t rise up and spread their arms wide.

I learn that if other plants or objects crowd a tree, the intended habit changes.  It diminishes.  Stunted and pressed upon, the tree loses potential somehow.

I think about the simple and natural need for space.  We have an intended shape–our best habit–but when crowded and pressured, we change. 

I think about making room for my husband, children, friends, students–and myself–to unfold, to stretch wide.  Do I stifle?  Do I crowd?  What would it look like to give everybody some breathing room? 

Today, I’m making space for my best habit to take shape.  I want to unfold like a bright yellow fan.

Journal:  Do you feel like you’ve taken shape into your best habit?  What allowed this?

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0 Responses

  1. Many thanks for sharing your neighbor's knowledge–I will enjoy thinking about the habit of trees today when I drive or walk through the neighborhood…and my own habit.

  2. It does change the way we look at trees!  I'm looking  at their shapes everywhere I go today! 

  3. My little tree made your blog!  Exciting!  What a beautiful walk around the neighborhood.  I hope we don't get the snow that is forecast for tomorrow or we may lose some of these beauties!

  4. It IS your beautiful little tree.  And I just read about the 4 inches of snow tomorrow.  I'm glad I got a picture of your tree!