Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Family Trees

This time of year it is sometimes unbearable to go outside around here. The dry, southern California heat can be so blistering that it keeps even the most enthusiastic nature-lover inside. There is refuge, however, in the shade. When there is a nice breeze, shade can transform a miserable day in the 100+ degree heat into a comfortable afternoon spent outdoors. Even our dog has learned how to run from one shadow to the next when we go for walks, and he often plops down for a break in the shade of one of the local trees.

Interestingly enough, I don't think I have ever thanked the trees for bearing the sweltering rays so I didn't have to. I naturally gravitate to the shade they provide, but often take that shade for granted, as if I was entitled to it.

Sunlight Through Trees

It reminds me of the shade I have been blessed with my entire life. Not necessarily shade from the hot summer sun, but from the rigors of life. I am reminded of the many trees that have surrounded my life:

My dad, who worked so hard to make sure that I always had the things that I needed (and the things I thought I needed). My mom, who made sure that I never missed a dentist appointment, a paper due date, or a meal, and always took care of me when I was sick despite my persistent whining. My wife, who has always encouraged me to chase my dreams, and has supported me even when they were wild goose chases. My grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles, who all blazed the trails of life ahead of me and gave me so many examples of how to live a meaningful life.

I think I will try and be more appreciative of the trees in my life, and always be grateful for the shade they provide.

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