I Survived – You Will, Too
© Atala Dorothy Toy
I Survived – You Will, Too
This burl-heavy tree is one of the few large trees to survive in a forest area that had been hit by a micro-burst tornado. She has two mouths – the lower one wavering in fear, the upper one pinched in determination to survive. Her eyes are open wide as she faces the destruction that surrounds her.
This is a survivor tree. Here is her story.
I was out photographing in a local preserve. It was a new area for me – I’d visited it once, and was now back for another visit with the wonderful nature spirits who live there.
One area of the woods had been hard hit by a micro-burst tornado. It had touched down and an entire section, inside the larger intact forest, had been largely laid bare. Huge old trees had been ripped out of the earth, their entire root system on display.
Within this area there were a few trees left standing. They were not the huge trees – they were the more modest sized ones. One of them particularly drew my attention. This was not a particularly pretty tree. It had a huge burl growing out of it. But this low heavy weight had provided the stability needed to survive a whirling storm.
This burl was consciously aware and was emitting a somber, joyfully-relieved survivor energy. Her energy intrigued me and I went for a visit. I walked around the tree to study its particular energy, walked back to study it from a distance, then moved forward to look closer.
Suddenly, I felt very, very happy in my heart. “I really, really like you,” I was inspired to tell the tree out loud, sending her a wave of love. “And I really, really like you, too,” the tree responded, sending a smile back into my heart. And so we started a wonderful, intimate conversation, and it finished with my taking her photograph.
You can see her heart-shaped face, her wide-open eyes that are staring in two directions at the devastation around her, her two mouths with the lower one wavering in stoic bravery as she faced her new situation and her higher mouth pursed tight in determination, with an upward turn of a smile because it is important to be happy no matter what.
In the old adage that what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger – this survivor tree asked me to share with people her learned wisdom: “I survived – you will, too!”
It’s something for all of us to remember in these difficult times that are testing everyone’s individual resolve. Sometimes it’s the big guys who fall, leaving the smaller ones behind to carry on the work. Even if you’ve always thought of yourself as one of the little guys – now it’s left to you to be the leader.
Even when devastation is all around you, you can’t give up – your decisions affect not only you, but also your entire environment – friends, family, and people you may not even know are watching and absorbing.
That wavering undervoice may still be there, but the upper voice of smiling determination will prevail. That smile is important. It helps you – and it considerably helps all the others around you, who are moving through similar situations themselves!
Now’s the time to pull in your energy, center, find your core, and find that resolve to go forward. You are a survivor. Smile.