What seems to have become a tradition, recently: Sitting on the back porch, grooving on my nightly dose of yummy medicinal herbs, and ... just listening, to whatever may come to me.
And what came to me a couple of nights ago was... the bristlecone pine. It can be found right here in California, nowhere near when I live but the bristlecone-pine forest is a place I've been myself.
A very interesting plant, this... it grows only in certain places, under certain circumstances, like all plants it likes what it likes, thank you very much, and without what it needs, it just ain't happy.
Very, very long lived creatures... some of them are thought to be on the order of 5,000 years old. They grow very... very... very... slowly. A three-foot-high tree could very well be older than the USA. At the protected forest, they have something they call the "Methuselah Grove" that hosts the oldest trees. They won't tell you which ones are the oldest trees, but I did notice a few kind-of-warn paths to trees that seemed to have nothing whatsoever remarkable about them, which I am assuming were among the oldest trees, but... see above, "nothing whatsoever remarkable about them." They looked like... bristlecones. But dang, were they old!
And what was the thought that came to me, that other night...? Well, the bristlecone does what every other plant does. It reaches towards what it needs or likes, it reaches away from what it doesn't like, and if something is in its way, it grows around it.
But it is in no hurry. No hurry whatsoever.
The growing conditions in the bristlecone-pine "forest," an interesting name for the environs in which they grow, it looks nothing like your typical vision of "the forest"... anyway, the growing conditions there are basically too hostile for anything else, and what most of us would think of as "good growing conditions" are precisely what it doesn't like. The rangers there told me that they had tried to grow one themselves, just a tiny sapling... but apparently they were "too kind" to it, giving it water like they give "normal" plants, and basically they killed it with kindness. The pinecones won't even sprout until they basically get the snot beat out of them, being tumbled around roughly and burned or otherwise exposed to (what we think of) as deadly high heat.
But they love those "nasty" conditions. And they do grow! But... they're in no hurry.
So, what does this say to us MSers? (Or, to all of us?) Reach toward that which strengthens you, reach away from that which harms or at best, doesn't strengthen you, and grow around whatever is in your way--yes, grow around it.
And don't be in a hurry. Just... grow.
We're all knocking on the door of springtime, the season of Wood... it is very much the time of year to do this, so let's do it together:
Just grow. Enjoy the sun, the water, and the fresh air, and... just grow. And what's the hurry? Take your time.