Maple Tree Scars

It's wood splitting time here at the cabin which means that a part of every week will be devoted to splitting and stacking this years burning wood. As I work through the pile, I have noticed something about one of the trees. As the rings grew out every years, they never made a complete circle. Maple tree must have been scarred in some way. The vertical scar continued to be incorporated into Maple tree as she grew. No more that a sixteenth of an inch wide, I would not have noticed it if I looked at the tree, but now that I have cut the tree into sections it is quite obvious. The scar runs almost completely to the center of the tree. It must have been injured when it was quite young. Even with such a deep scar, one almost as old as the tree itself, she still grew into a tall beautiful Maple, as majestic as any on the land.

This gets me thinking about my own scars. My culture teaches me that scars are something to hide, something that is debilitating, something that must be healed if we are to survive. Maple tree teaches me that a scar is something that can be grown with, something that is descriptive of the past, but not something that has to limit the future. I realize that Maple tree, without the scar would be different, but not better.

Today, I will live like Maple tree. I will accept my scars, recognize that they have changed me, but stay curious about the ways in which I have been changed. I will decline the cultural invitations that describe scars as limiting or as problems that need to be solved. I will remember that me without the scars would be different, not better.