photos taken of trees at the edge of the Grand Canyon on May 11, 2011
I saw this lone tree on top of a rocky cliff overlooking the Grand Canyon. It reminded me of a parable that I read entitled , "The Weathered Tree". Here is an excerpt from that parable.
…there is a windswept granite rock outcropping, overlooking a beautiful valley. A solitary Ponderosa Pine tree grows in a crack of this cliff. Below her, in contrast, there is a valley forest.
The tree lives in the most difficult spot of all the forest. To look at it, it appears there is too little soil for the tree to have begun life there. Once life began, it looks as if there would be too little water to sustain it. And even if its life were possible, the wind never stops blowing at the place, pushing the tree in one direction, then another, never stopping. The tree has been buffeted and blown relentlessly throughout her difficult life.
A forest grew in the sheltered valley below this granite cliff. In the forest there is rich and fertile ground for the trees, which stores water from the snows of winter and the rain of spring. Trees are sheltered by the valley and by each other from any winds which blow. The forest trees grew straight, tall and in perfect symmetry. The tree on the cliff, however is weathered and beaten. It could not grow straight, but was twisted by the buffeting of the wind as it grew. The weathered tree spiraled as she grew upward, unlike the straight trees below. Once she was struck by lightning, which charred a side of her and tore her original upward reaching arms. Though she suffered injuries which would kill most trees, she miraculously returned to life bearing a dark scar from the lightning on her side and injuries to her up reaching arms. Year after year the trees al grew. In the vally, trees reached heights over 300 feet, while the weathered tree fought for more root space in the granite in which she was planted. Her height was stunted as her energy was spent in the struggle for root space and her lack of available water. She was twisted, so that her heights was further limited by the turns her difficult life had taken.
The forest trees below mocked the weathered tree. They lived in companionship with each other, strong and straight. The solitary tree above had her shameful, twisted body on display for all the other trees to see and mock. “It was right to have this tortured tree kept apart from the rest,” they said. “for she would never fit in with our beautiful forest below”.
The years came and went, and while the weathered tree continued her difficult existence, the forest enjoyed their pleasantries. Deer and elk lived in the forest; ferns grew in its moist shade. There was harmony in the forest which went beyond the trees alone. THE FOREST WAS PROUD…..
(excerpt from the book, The Ten Parables)
Read Isaiah 53