Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘growth

Keep Growing

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We are blessed to have a home in which we can comfortably stay. There is a pandemic raging out there in the big wide world. Home alone is the best place to be.

There is also a political calamity raging in the U.S. with incredible numbers of people holding opposing views about what is real. It’s frustrating to witness. I hold a view that human development doesn’t naturally progress without some energy to urge forward momentum. If there is no outside influence, people will tend to settle for far less than their ultimate potential.

We see what we want to see and we hear what we want to hear. Change is unsettling for the majority of folks.

Physical human growth is outwardly obvious with age but intellectual enlightenment and emotional and spiritual maturity less so. Some people’s development seems to stop at an adolescent level. There is a phenomenon of like minds coalescing around their common level of development.

It is uncomfortable to find oneself surrounded by too many others who function in a distinctly different stage of growth. Picture yourself as a toddler playing comfortably with your dolls or trucks when a gang of college students suddenly takes over the room to practice a debate.

Yesterday, Cyndie read to me from Fr. Richard Rohr’s book, “Falling Upward” about stages and steps of human and spiritual maturation. This excerpt resonated:

…from your own level of development, you can only stretch yourself to comprehend people just a bit beyond yourself. Some theorists say you cannot stretch more than one step above your own level of consciousness, and that is on a good day! Because of this limitation, those at deeper (or “higher”) levels beyond you invariably appear wrong, sinful, heretical, dangerous, or even worthy of elimination.

I don’t have any idea how to bridge that inevitable discord in appearance between people of distant levels of development, but at the very least, this helps me to comprehend what has been so incomprehensible to me.

I feel as though I have grown significantly in my perspectives about how to love myself and others, but the last four years have tripped me up in my goal to maintain a healthy perspective about those who appear so wrong and dangerous to me.

We might all be adults, but some would rather play with their toys while others seek to debate difficult concepts. It is understandable that two groups of such different levels of consciousness would have difficulty understanding each other.

No wonder it is so hard to get everyone to simply wear a face mask in public during a global pandemic.

May we all pause to see those with whom we don’t agree with fresh compassion for whatever level of human growth they have achieved. Each of our paths are unique. Offer a hand to those who are willing and open to lifting us, or being lifted by us.

No matter where each one of us is, don’t ever stop growing.

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Hearty Impression

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What might the message be from this tree with an old wound that it is growing around in the shape of a heart?

I don’t know, but I’d like to think it is something heartwarming.

When we were cleaning out the landscaping around the back side of the house over the weekend, I discovered that a tie holding a maple sapling to a support stake was too tight and had begun constricting the tree’s growth. What a sorry sight to stumble upon; an occasion where my efforts to help a tree had ended up hurting it.

Trees seem to grow slowly, in general, but at the same time, there is a dramatic amount of activity happening in relatively short time spans. I think the trunk of that sapling has doubled in size since it was tied. I would have liked to see a time-lapse of that progress.

Just a week ago we were digging out from beneath a huge snow storm, and yesterday, on my drive home from work, I could already see the tops of tree clusters developing a green tinge from sprouting new buds. It warms my heart to know the leaves will soon be making an appearance.

Ever wonder how many leaves grow on the branches of mature trees? There are a lot of variables, but an oft-repeated average seen in the results of a Google search is around 200,000. That number makes my heart flutter like the quaking leaves of our poplar trees.

At the extension class we took last month to learn tricks of identifying trees, (did I already write about this?) we found out the thing that makes some leaves oscillate in the wind is the square shape of the leaf stem. It isn’t round, it has four flat sides.

Fun facts for people who love trees. Hopefully, that includes everyone. How could anyone with a heart, not love a tree?

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Written by johnwhays

April 24, 2018 at 6:00 am

Can You?

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If you look closely, can you see how much growth has occurred on the spindly little fingerling of the volunteer oak tree to the right of my balancing stone since that first picture on the left was taken back in May? I’d love it if we could get that same amount of new growth every year. We’d have shade on that side of the house in a couple of years.

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Written by johnwhays

July 10, 2015 at 6:00 am

Managing Growth

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We are in the last week of June now, and the growing things around here are finally at their fullest. If we are to maintain control of this property, we need to manage growth. Any areas that have not been mowed yet this year are now looking a lot like the pasture. It’s a shame we weren’t able to bring horses here soon enough for them to dine on our luscious grass. I can’t wait to see how different things will be once we get grazing horses to help keep the growing grass under control.

There are new trees growing everywhere. Unfortunately, many of them sprout in our walkway or in the landscape gardens around the house, where they don’t belong, or wouldn’t ultimately fit. Cyndie wanted to transplant the new babies. I guess she is still thinking in the mindset we had at our old home in the suburbs. Back there, we did everything we could to encourage new tree growth on our little corner lot.

Now we have so many new trees, it is mind-boggling.

I cleared out a space where I would like a new wood shed to be located. After cutting some grass and berry bushes at the edge, the area further in was almost all first or second year maple seedlings that were easier to pull out than cut down.

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After

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It saddens me to take out any trees, but I am feeling encouraged by the incredible number of new trees sprouting without any assistance from us. It appears that it will be very easy to nurture expansion of the woods into any areas that we don’t end up assigning to other purposes.

We’re gonna want all the trees we can possibly add, if we keep experiencing losses like this year’s weather has been dishing out.

Written by johnwhays

June 28, 2013 at 7:00 am