For parents of special needs kids, whose reservoirs of patience and love far exceed my own, I want to share some thoughts about this picture I took yesterday [Feb. 27, 2012] while on a walk.
This little branch does not know how far below the others it is growing. They strain far up and away from the trunk, growing old and woody and eventually supporting other branches. Not this one.
It doesn’t care about any of that. The others can extend the tree, draw up the sap, thicken the trunk. This little branch has a different job to do. It remains low and accessible to those walking by.
Yes, it seems a little out of place, and can get in the way. People sometimes have to brush past it as they pass the trunk. But then the clouds part, its needles shine green in the sunlight, and people see the living beauty of the tree, right there in front of them. It is a burst of life, a soft and delicate aspect of the tree not found in the heavy strong trunk, and only distantly visible in the branches high above.
And so the stunted little branch remains, never trimmed, tolerated and admired, as the tree, like your family, grows and reaches for the sky.
A mother who read the original post added this thought:
Thank you for the poem and the picture. Someday, when the tree is cut and only the stump remains, its roots still feed the delicate branch. It may grow taller, because it is no longer shaded by the tree itself.