Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Lesson of the Leaning Tree

If the Marine Corps War Memorial, or Iwo Jima, was like the bar on the TV show, "Cheers," I think that I might be Norm.[cue for you to shout, "Crystal!"] Even though I enjoy visiting and exploring new places, there a special joy that results from returning to a familiar place and uncovering new treasures. The Iwo Jima Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery are both places on that list for me. Each visit, I see or experience something that I may have missed during earlier explorations.

The Marine Corps War Memorial, which is circular in design, is surrounded by large, open, grassy fields. On the Fourth of July holiday, the lawn area is covered with people waiting to see the national fireworks show on the National Mall. Bordering the grass area on the side away from the National Mall are large pine trees with a few other smaller trees sprinkled throughout the lawn. Somehow during past visits, I never saw this leaning tree.

I'm sure it has been there since my first visit and I must have missed it. Perhaps I overlooked this tree because I was trying to photograph the statue of the Iwo Jima flag-raisers, or I was focusing on capturing the spectacular view of downtown DC from the memorial. Regardless of the reason, it was only last month that the leaning tree and I met. I captured this intriguing image of the leaning tree as it was ready to burst into purple blossoms and greet spring. There is a kinship between the leaning tree and myself. Often, I feel like this tree, battered and blown by life's bad weather and at times, I also respond by bending or moving in an unplanned direction. But like this tree, in spite of these uncontrollable forces, we can still defiantly bloom and grow.

The lesson of the leaning tree is that we too must be flexible in the face of external forces, but also be resilient and blossom in spite of adversity.

1 comment:

  1. then I wonder who I would be on Cheers? Cliff? Woody?