Out in the middle of an open field stands this solitary, lightening-struck tree. I drive past her nearly everyday. She never fails to catch my attention. She has grown with the curves of both hips and breasts alike. Her hollow trunk is split down the middle exposing the inside that is blackened and charred. With two gnarled branches stretched out in a vee towards the sky and an upturned remnant of bark where her head should be, I am mesmerized. Oh, but she' s beautiful!
I can almost see the woman she would be. One who has lived her life to the fullest. She has felt passion, pursued her dreams, known both success and failure, loved unconditionally, given life, provided shelter, watched the world change around her, experienced utter loss, and,yet, somehow contines to hold on. She clings by her roots to all that is good. She never gives up. Her arms reach out to the heavens, and her face is tilted to the sun, giving thanks for all that she's known. Most of all,she is sastified, for she has lived.
I look at her standing proud, naked with her scars showing for all the world to see, and I can't help but be inspired by her. We all should be. Haven't we all faces storms and sunshine the same she? I know I am guilty of letting myself get so caught up in all the demands of motherhood and marriage, as well as financial restrictions, that I have stunted my personal growth. I have sacrificed my dreams and desires for what I thought was the greater good of my loved ones. There just never seems to be enough money to get started on things properly. I cannot count how often I have felt that I do not deserve success or recognition for my talents; that I am merely mediocre with no chance of having any impact on this world. However, the simple truth is that I have allowed myself to hide behind those excuses because of my lack of confidence. I feared failure.
Who am I kidding? I still fear it, but would I rather try and fail than be one of those people who NEVER tried at all. I cannot possibly be the only one who feels this way, and it is for those of you that can relate, that I can say this: It is time for us all to stop trembling in fear, hiding behind excuses, no matter how convincing they may be, and really start living. Get out your pen and paper, go back to school, sing your song like no one is listening. I will dream big. Will you dream with me? I will expose my mediocrity to the world. Do you dare to do the same? I will succeed or else die trying, because I have one ultimate goal in mind. I want to be like that tree.
Charity Abbott is a 31 year old wife and mother of three from the small rural town of Maplesville, AL. She works as a caretaker for an elderly couple. Her interests include a wide variety of outdoor activities including: camping, fishing, horseback riding and gardening. When the weather does not cooperate you can be sure to find her somehwere with her nose stuck in a book.