One morning this week, as I was enjoying my morning coffee outside, I realized I was contemplating a large tree that holds court in the back corner of our yard. As I thought about it, I realized that it wasn’t even here when we moved in 13 years ago!
Instead, in its place, there was a beautiful, gigantic ocotillo! It was the biggest ocotillo I have ever seen, about 20ft tall and thick! It would have taken 10 people with arms spread wide to surround this beautiful desert plant! And when it was in bloom, with its intense orange tops it looked like the whole thing was on fire!
It was gorgeous!
After we had lived here for about a year, I noticed a small branch with a few leaves on it, sticking out of the ocotillo at eye level. Because of the thickness of the ocotillo, I couldn’t see where it was coming from… So I asked our landscape guy about it. He said a small tree had taken root in the center of the gigantic plant.
I asked him if he could take it out? He indicated that they would have to destroy such a big piece of the ocotillo to get it out, that the ocotillo would never look the same. Apparently, if you cut away part of one of these plants, it doesn’t grow back the same as it was before.
I decided to let nature take its course. The desert can be harsh on plants. I assumed that the tree, which is deciduous, would probably never survive. I imagined that the ocotillo was so established and a native desert plant that eventually it would smother out this small volunteer.
To my surprise, within a couple of years, the tree had grown so much that it uprooted and pushed its original host right out of the way. There are no remaining remnants of the ocotillo! Only my memories and a few old photographs!
In its place is a majestic tree! One that stands as a sentinel and witness for everything that happens in this space. It completely transformed the feeling of this place by claiming it’s own unique spot. Growing with tenacity and insistence in its own subtle and gentle way.
As I sat there reflecting on the journey and gift of this tree. I heard it whisper “We serve others by being ourselves”. And in that moment I knew the truth of this simple sentence. Serving others is an outcome.., and not the goal. The goal is to become the most authentic and unique expression of ourselves. To reveal the SELF we came here to BE.
In this simple quiet moment, sitting in and with the beauty of Nature I was reminded that we all have our own unique role to play, in creating the world we want to be a part of! In a world that is currently locked in a battle for separation, we become more unified when we set down the illusion of sameness! There is no other tree on the planet that is the ‘same’ as the one on Cannon Drive… And there is not a single tree out there that is trying to be! Nature is content to be divinely different! Perhaps it is time for each of us to embrace our differences too!
With Light, Love, and Laughter