trees as metaphor for humans

so this tree analogy has so much utility. as i was saying yesterday, another way that i often use the tree analogy is with an individual person. i often think about myself in this way, but it seems to have been somewhat helpful other as well.

for the most part, in the personal lane, i end up thinking about a few things: growth, pruning, roots/listening, roots/identity. i’ll try to keep these brief for now, but each of them could be (and may end up as) posts on their own.


when i think about how trees, grow, it is both up and out. trunks get taller, thicker, stronger. old branches support new branches and new branches also can grow directly out of the tree (often even out of cuts in trunk). all of this is how humans can grow.


all trees have the ability to grow on their own. they “know” how to do it (just like my brother, cody, says, we all “know” how to grow hair). that said, if you want an apple tree to produce fruit in a certain way, at a certain quality, pruning it will help that happen. you don’t just let it grow wild and natural; you think about a goal, cut back some parts and support other parts. it won’t kill the tree and in the end, you’ll have more of what you’re looking for.


i’m pretty sure oak and redwoods (and maybe other trees too) communicate with each other via their root systems. they also “learn” from the patch of earth they’re in. about the amount of water that’s around, diseases in the ground, nutrients in the soil, etc. like trees, we also have roots and they help us keep up on what’s happening around us. how deep and far your roots go is directly related to how resilient you will be.


(most) trees are stable. once a seed is planted and root start growing, the tree doesn’t move on the earth. it may grow tall, spread its roots wide and deep, thicken its trunk, get covered with grape vines, but the tree itself isn’t going anywhere. i believe this is true for how most people are on a more identity/spiritual level (because obviously we can move across the earth). but i really believe that where we start is fundamentally related to where we can go.

i’ve come to see that limitation in a very freeing sense. it means i have a domain and don’t have to worry about doing everything for everyone everywhere.

wow. there’s still so much more here, but i gotta run for now.

words / writing / post-processing
444w / 15min / 5min