The Kindness of Strangers – Day 12
by Jim Herbert
Thank you to a Stranger #12
Do you ever walk around in a park and wonder who planted the trees you are looking at? I know that a good number of them grew from seed or sapling that occurred naturally, but some of them were definitely planted with intention.
One of my favorite people on the planet is a tree planter. Mike Dooley, author of Infinite Possibilities is a secret tree planter and if I remember correctly he said he’s planted over a thousand trees in his days. My Dad was a tree planter too. He would collect the seedlings of the maples in our yard and cultivate them in pots until they were big enough to plant in the soil.
As I’ve been doing this series of little stories I’ve gradually been shaking off the rust of a one month absence from writing. I’m doing pretty well in my mind. I’ve also been trying to shake off the rust and get back into my early morning outdoor park workouts where I do a little yoga and my martial arts. Let’s just say I haven’t been quite as consistent there yet.
This morning though, I managed to get outside and enjoy some time with my many tree friends in the park. I love them all but I do have a particular favorite. It’s a white pine and if I Had to guess I’d say it’s about 20-25 years old. It has a perfect branch structure and an imperfect lean that makes it even more perfect. It’s right outside my garage.
I know in my heart that somebody planted this tree with intention. I’ll never get to tell them directly how much joy they have brought to my life as I gaze at the tree in between poses or katas, but I can tell them here.
So thank to the stranger that planted the pine tree that has become such an important part of the last year and a half of my journey. I wonder if you knew at the time you were creating such a joyful friendship? Maybe I’ll plant one of my own out there too!
I wanted to write my whole life. By age 45 it had amounted to nothing more than a storage locker of half full journals and a lot of unfulfilled dreams. Then Paris in the fall of 2011 happened. It was the catalyst I needed to consistently blog. At first I had a hard time hitting the publish button, but now two blog sites and over 300 posts later I’m hitting my stride. I’m also a budding speech writer. I’ve recently been heavily involved in the Chicago Storytelling scene and have also won the Chicago Toastmasters Area 66 International Speech Contest. Website: http://www.emergingintojoy.com.