I have a long-term relationship with these two trees in the pasture.

I’ve photographed them in every season. I’ve walked beneath them. I’ve taken deep breaths when I see them – perhaps the very literal definition of inspiration.


They’re not the most beautiful of trees by many standards, but to me they are exquisite.

They are survivors, continuing to leaf out each year, providing shade and a green respite here in this high desert land in which we live. They have been home to hawks and a shady napping spot for Miss P.


They are yin and yang, each buffeted by the wind that whips across the land, so that they lean significantly. Notice also how they mirror each other. If we were to magically combine them, and perhaps straighten them up a bit, they would become one, fully rounded tree.


I love them just as they are.

They encourage me to be more gentle with myself and others. To accept that after my many years on the planet, I too lean a little from the winds that have shaped me, and my leaves may not be what I think they ought to be, or what they once were.


Here’s the thing: For each of us, trees and humans, we are quite simply what we are.

And often it’s far from perfect – especially the perfection of some erudite definition.

But when we look at ourselves with a more loving eye, perhaps we are able to see our unique beauty.

It’s there.

I promise you that.

As I promise myself the same.


My challenge to you, should you be so inclined to accept it, is to look around your particular world.

Find something that at first glance may seem quite ordinary. And then spend enough time with it until you can see how truly extraordinary it is.

Then offer a quiet thank-you, and let the beauty soak into your very pores.

Here’s the radical suggestion:

Do it again, this time with something else, perhaps something completely different from the first.

Continue to seek beauty in the ordinary.

How darned radical is that?

P.S. If you look to the very left of the photo, you will see Pepper and Chickadee making their way to the gate.