Day 13: Beauty in a broken world

Mountain trees, buffeted by fierce winter winds, often grow in peculiar ways. Looking at the direction their limbs grow, you can tell the wind tends to focus in one direction.To survive, the tree must adapt.

This tall pine, with limbs fuller on one side, basks in the light of the setting sun.

A young arborist who likes to camp near my “neck of the woods” talked excitedly about this phenomena when he found out where I live. “I’ve never before seen a place where the trees do that.” He grew up in a land of pines, too, but pines more likely to encounter a hurricane’s circular winds than the harsh winter winds that blow from the northwest.

I hope you’ll take a moment today to notice the trees around you. Do they grow lopsided to survive a singular wind? Or are they full all the around their trunks?

Join me in the hunt for beauty?
Where do you see beauty in a broken world? Want to add your own images during the 31-day journey? If so, feel free to comment below with your Instagram handle, and tag your Insta posts with #beautyinabrokenworld. You’ll find me there @pixofhope.

Something that doesn’t love a wall

One of my favorite poems is Mending Wall by Robert Frost. There’s a good chance you studied it in a high school English class, but it’s one of the most often misunderstood poems around. It begins:

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it …

Perhaps too many students forget the beginning by the middle of the poem and drift into daydreaming by the end of it. And, therefore, they forget the whole point of the poem.

While you’ll often hear the line “Good fences make good neighbors,” from the poem, the line was the exact opposite of Frost’s main message. The narrator in the poem wanted his neighbor to think beyond their annual tradition of meeting to repair the wall, to understand that, simply because the neighbor’s father had fed him the “Good fences” line for many years, they didn’t need the wall between them. His neighbor refused to listen and doggedly repeated what his father had taught him about good fences.

Some fences are good and necessary. Here a fence keeps sheep and goats penned in until they can get their dose of medicine. The sheep stares out through the fence as if saying, “I don’t love this wall.”FurryFirefighters2016_3FT

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