Sunday, September 13, 2009

maybe it just grew

There is a tree in our backyard, I think it is in the pine family. I am pretty terrible at estimating heights, but I'd say it's maybe a billion feet tall. This afternoon it swayed in the light breeze and let sunbeams dodge in and among its tallest branches; I lay on the grass and watched and wondered.

Why did that tree grow from a tiny seed to a towering giant? How many seeds fell to the ground that season but never germinated, or took root, or grew beyond the sapling stage? What made this one special?

Maybe someone carefully tended the seed and the sapling. Or maybe the seed fell in a particularly fertile patch of earth. Or maybe there was a series of mild winters when the tree was young, giving it strong roots in its early life.

Or maybe it just grew because some seeds grow, and it was one of those seeds.

Why do we become what we are? It is easy to think and behave as though we make it happen. And without a doubt, our choices do shape who we become. But what shapes our choices? What (or who) makes us grow, and why, and how?

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