It’s not pretty. It’s dead. A dead root on a very live tree. The tree was growing on the side of a huge rock in our Boundary Waters Wilderness camp site when we made camp. This rock could have been miles long or just the size of a football field; so yes, huge. All the trees roots grew down towards the water but one. This one. It was probably in trouble for quite some time as it died and rotted to the point of being hollow. One day it could not hold the tree up any longer.
We were going to use this tree to hang our food pack out of bear reach but opted for something away from camp. At first glance this is the perfect leaning “food pack” tree. Our pack would have been twelve feet above the ground, four feet down from the limb, and way more than four feet from the nearest tree trunk (highly recommended). Now I know that if a bear had climbed the tree it would have toppled it and made the bear think he was invincible. There’s nothing worse to campers than a bear overestimating himself except campers like me who bean them with rocks over some food. So far it’s Gary three and the bears zero.
I will be the first to admit my trusting nature. I don’t inspect chairs before sitting, test the car brakes before I drive, or check expiration dates while grocery shopping. Historically I should check everything given my first stock broker ended up in jail for fraud, A saw blade came off and cut both my arms to the bone once, and I am in general accident prone (some say all those around me are in danger but I don’t think so). Yet I as well as most people do not take the time to be root inspectors of potential problems that might happen.
My short-comings may be numerous but I may have stumbled upon (quite intentionally actually) a system in life that has worked for me. I am quite committed to my own personal growth mentally, physically, socially, and spiritually. I still court my wife, read books that challenge me, watch what I eat (sometimes take pictures), learn new music and write new songs, spend time reading the Bible, listening and talking to God, and I make sure I go to one or more conferences yearly.
“When one is not growing, they are dying.” This is not a theory in any part of life.
We left camp for a few hours to explore and fish and a perfectly healthy tree crashed on the rocks. The main root had died long before the crash. A friend came home from work to find a note and his wife and kids were gone. The roots had died. Today (national news) a banker took his life as all of his doctoring the books were to be discovered. Our great country has printed how much money to keep from crashing for how long? Healthy growing roots are important and even whole countries are not exempt.
What are you doing to keep healthy and grow yourself and those around you?