This past week, I witnessed just how much weight my poor tree could handle before it broke. Twice. Both noisy cracks shattered the dark stillness of the frozen night. We ran outside, of course, but it wasn’t until the next day that we could truly assess the extent of the ice covering it.
You can see here just how overloaded the tree was. In this particular case the burden was ice. But regardless of what the stress is, there is a limit to how much abuse any living being can tolerate, before it reaches its threshold of pain, and it breaks. To say that the strong survive is a bit of a misrepresentation – a platitude of sorts. When enough pressure is applied, we all fold. So did my tree. Those of you who saw my last post on the ice storm we just had, saw the first of the two branches to break off. The second one was quite a bit larger. It was the slow thaw that systematically and progressively weakened it, causing its eventual fracture. There is a lesson here. When we pressure the weak to the point of collapse, the collective weave of which we’re all a part, ruptures – to the detriment of all. There is another storm rolling in tomorrow. Let’s all look out for each other. Remember, before the sudden break, the tree looked just fine, if a bit weighted down. Those strained symptoms are pretty much universal. This Holiday Season – be sure to talk to each other. Reach out to friends and neighbors, and ask how they are doing. Offer assistance and kindness where you can. Even a little support and warmth might help prevent a break. It’s a cold, cold world out there.