Saturday, September 01, 2007


My poultry yard is a large, fenced area in a pine woods on the side of a small hill, or knob. It's been there for about five or six years now, and the chickens have scratched away all of the grass and weeds until it's just bare earth under the trees and privet bushes. This year I noticed that there are more tree roots showing above ground than before, especially in the more sloping areas. This observation has been brewing in the back of my mind for several weeks now, and yesterday I got the beginning of a thought about it. It's a rather negative thought that can lead to quite positive things, I think. But I suppose that depends on how you look at it.

Roots are things hidden under the ground. They bring nurturance from the ground up to the plant we see above ground, and its state of health depends on what the roots bring to it. Now, the chickens' daily scratching and the yearly rains have begun to unearth the roots and expose them to the sun and air. On a material, practical level, I'm just a bit worried that if this process goes on too far, the trees might start falling. But I suppose, on a material, practical level, that is some years in the future. To get back to my thought, it seems to me that our secret thoughts and behaviors, whether good or ill, can be seen in the roots. With the erosion of weather and circumstance, these roots become exposed, and could threaten the existence of the plant above ground. In the same way, our "roots," or secret thoughts and behaviors, become exposed by the troubles and trials we experience. The above ground plant and fruit (our life and external behavior) show how well we travel through these trials and troubles. If our "roots" are bad, i.e. thin, diseased, and shallow, then the tree above ground might very well die. If they are sound, i.e. strong and deep, then the tree lives.

Once the roots are exposed, everyone can see their state, whether diseased or healthy. I don't know why this would happen to a person. That is, why, after many trials and troubles, a person's soul would be laid bare for all to see. Is it to show the disease so that medicines and remedies can be applied before the erosion becomes too much and the tree falls? Is it to show the strength and health so as to encourage others who have not come so far yet?

In the "poultry yard" of my life, circumstances and trials have scratched away all the "weeds," all of my coping mechanisms and bravado, until there's only "bare earth" now. Only my bare self, sans persona, shows. The incessant scratching of Life has worn me down to just me; what you see is what you get. Now in the evening of my life, after many years of troubles and sorrows, my roots are beginning to show. I wonder what they will disclose?

(This was posted on my 360 blog in July of this year, but I wanted to share it here, too.)

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