Monday, January 10, 2011

What I Think Is An Acorn

I woke up thinking today. And what I was thinking was that everything I think is an acorn that could become an oak tree.

Most of what I think, honestly, never becomes an oak tree. Being acorns, they gather on the ground and rot, I guess. I'd like to say they wither on the vine, but that's a whole different plant.

Acorns, though, really don't gather on the ground and rot. I mean, they potentially could ... if they fell on some really poor ground. But if they fell on really poor ground, there wouldn't have been an oak tree there in the first place.

I visited at a place in town a few times over the summer, and I saw a couple of oak trees in this guy's yard, plus I saw hundreds, maybe thousands of acorns. He explained to me the pattern of what was going on. And it was an eye opener. There's an oak tree, and there's all these acorns it's dropping. They're on the ground. And a bunch of them start sprouting up.

So now you've got literally hundreds of little trees all around. But at this point they're a total nuisance. Because the property owner only wants the one parent tree, and not to have it surrounded by hundreds of little trees. So he was mowing them. But you know what happened? They grow again. They get mowed again. And they grow again, and again, and again. You can pull one up and see it's been mowed five or six times and yet it's sprouted over and over.

That's a picture of my thoughts. See? You've got me in the center. Then I'm thinking my thoughts, and they're falling everywhere. Some of them I pick up -- this is where the figure breaks down. I pick them up and do things with them, like write them down or act on them in some way. At this point they have nothing to do with acorns and oaks. But most of them lay scattered all around and ignored. Again, the figure breaks down, because I go about my business unperturbed by anything to do with acorns and oaks.

The inspiring part about it -- and remember, even though I'm the parent tree in the center, that doesn't mean I'm going to give way for another tree -- is that occasionally a thought of mine will be like an acorn that falls from an oak. Then, somehow, maybe it's carried by a mental squirrel far away from its parent, and it becomes an inspiration for someone else. It's conceivable. The squirrel plants it, it sprouts up, becomes an oak, the passage of time is greatly accelerated, being nothing like the slowness of the growth of an actual oak, and it bears fruit, although there's technically no oak fruit except more acorns, and everyone's blessed.

Meanwhile, here I am, the parent tree, getting up in the morning, thinking about the fruit I cast off, and hoping it makes good sense to you.

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