A couple of weeks ago I noticed new growth shoots on the varieties of pine trees. This picture is of the Scotch Pine. I had never noticed this very pronounced growth.
I think of trees growing like turtles. The measurable growth of something so big and so stationary requires years of observation. Yet, here in one spring the growth reveals itself unmistakably.
I remember my college roommate telling me a story about his growing pains, not the Seaver Family from the long running ABC family sitcom. He woke up one night and his legs hurt so bad they went to the hospital. For three or four weeks, the pain would come and go with little relief.
Medically, doctors don’t believe that growing hurts physically. Bones have no nerves. Deep tissue has little nerves for which to sense pain. Yet, doctors recognize growing pains as a real thing—and another reason for pre-pubescent misery.
I don’t know if I ever experienced physical growing pains. I know I experienced emotional, psychological, and spiritual growing pains. Maturation involves transformation. Transformation cannot be painless.
It requires a keen eye to detect when we transformed from one person into the next, to realize when we exchanged, consciously and unconsciously, one way of being with a different way. We need the wisdom of time and perspective to mark the transition.
We will need to stand back from these days to recognize that we are experiencing growing pains. They will come and go, but ultimately, they will lead to a newer, stronger, better us.
I took this picture on June 8th. We were gleeful at the prospect of loosening restrictions. We dreamed of lakeside sunsets and gathering at our favorite bar and getting haircuts. The soundtrack music for these days moved from ominous to peaceful resolution. That was seventeen days ago.
The Scotch Pine have integrated their new growth buds. We have not integrated our new reality. We have not embraced our transformation. We do not have the perspective to know if we are newer or older, stronger or weaker, better or worse.
We will need more time, more patience, more perspective to know if we grow toward our newer, stronger, better us or if we regress toward our downfall. I fear the latter. I hope for the former.
I love you.
I need you.
I hope for you.
Please be safe.