When the Wind Blows and the Bow Breaks

I was once asked, in a job interview, what type of tree I felt I was or how would I describe myself as a tree? I was caught off guard with that one. Maple, Pine, Oak or Willow came to mind. I’m not sure. If I remember correctly, I thought I was an Oak tree. I was thinking of a strong tree. But since I couldn’t think of very many types of trees under intense pressure, I gave Oak off the top of my head. And at that time it’s how I perceived myself.

I discussed this later with my brother, about trees and how people can be similar to nature. The willow blows with the wind, losing branches here and there. It bends and drops leaves.The oak doesn’t bend, it doesn’t bow. It’s leaves cling to the branches through fall, winter, and finally dropping them in the spring. It seemed to us that the Willow might have the right idea. The wind blows and the Willow’s limbs break. It bends and when the ice and snow weighs it down it just bends until it all melts off again.

Handling it

When times get rough we find out how we handle life. Some think to ride out the rough storms they have to harden. Grip tighter with whitened knuckles. Shout and shake their fist at the wind. Defy the troubled times and become like the granite of the Rocky Mountains. That’s how we survive. I do believe there is a time for that method. I also believe it could have been the way best chosen for the past. The problem with hardening is it’s difficult to soften again when the war or storm is over. Soldiers must train and harden for war. Facing death and battle is not for the weak stomach. Most of us, myself included, probably couldn’t make it through basic training. Then there is the real war.

So for fun, I tried to think of all the different types of trees, because maybe I’m missing something. Coconut, maple, oak, pine, eucalyptus, cedar, fig, apple, pear, orange, etc (lots of fruit trees). I often laughingly say, I want to be a coconut tree because dropping coconuts on people all day might be fun.

So what type of tree are you and do you think it’s possible to stereotype a tree? Is that like racial profiling? I don’t wish to offend any trees.

Are you:

  • Fast growing or slow growing?
  • Flexible or sturdy?
  • Small or large?
  • Straight or curly?

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