Monday, July 3, 2017

Good Timber

For a while I've been participating in #MotivationMonday on Instagram. I'm not super faithful with it, but I try to post little things every Monday that have to do with health or mindfulness. I do it more for myself than for anyone else, and it helps me remember to be strong when I'm feeling weary.

Today I posted a quote from the poem "Good Timber" by Douglas Malloch. Instagram got a quick doodle that I scribbled into my journal a while ago, but you guys get my hastily done Photoshop version instead (because you're special).

Photo by Stefan Steinbauer on Unsplash

This poem is one of my favorites, and I've written the entirety of it in at least a couple of my past journals. This is partly because I am fascinated by the tenacity of trees.

I'm sure you've all seen pictures of trees that have grown strong in spite of the conditions they have faced. Trees that bend into strong winds. Trees growing through chain link fences and through sidewalks. Trees sprouting new branches from the wound of a lost limb. There are a heck of a lot of things that a tree can overcome!

I try to think about these things in relation to myself. When people see my scars - emotional or otherwise - I want them to see how they have helped me become who I am, rather than as a reminder of how broken I used to be. More than that, I want to be able to look at myself and remember that any suffering I am experiencing will not last forever. I will grow around it, I will lean into it, and I will continue to survive.

We are all capable of so much more than we realize.


Good Timber
Douglas Malloch

    The tree that never had to fight
    For sun and sky and air and light,
    But stood out in the open plain
    And always got its share of rain,
    Never became a forest king
    But lived and died a scrubby thing.

    The man who never had to toil
    To gain and farm his patch of soil,
    Who never had to win his share
    Of sun and sky and light and air,
    Never became a manly man
    But lived and died as he began.

    Good timber does not grow with ease:
    The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
    The further sky, the greater length;
    The more the storm, the more the strength.
    By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
    In trees and men good timbers grow.

    Where thickest lies the forest growth,
    We find the patriarchs of both.
    And they hold counsel with the stars
    Whose broken branches show the scars
    Of many winds and much of strife.
    This is the common law of life.

1 comment:

  1. Just beautiful! Thank you, Kari, for sharing this poem and your thoughts on it.