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When looking back on our childhood, many of us can remember a favorite place; somewhere we could escape from the rigors of life and be whoever we wanted to be.  For my sister and I, that place was our tree.  Our tree was weathered, but it was also incredibly strong.  As children, it seemed monumentally so.  Its mammoth trunk was covered in knobby growths, and, in time, it had swallowed a piece of barbed wire fence that was wrapped around its middle.  With its many thick branches, my sister and I moved throughout the tree…well like monkeys looking back on it now.  Our tree was not very tall, but its leaves seemed to stretch forever, forming a canopy that made it a world all our own.

Our tree, while amazing on its own, had one remarkable addition under its canopy.  Every spring, thousands of small miniature plants, sprouted, seemingly confined to its shade.  In a way, it was like our own secret garden.  We were never certain where the seeds scattered from; their very growth was amazement enough.  The seeds travelled easily, with somewhat of a feather connected to them.  Abby and I would join in their canopy dance and make certain they each found a home in the lush soil.

I often think of our tree, still standing tall on our land at Dad’s house.  It will be there for years.  Our secret garden will bloom each spring, the mystery seeds scattering beneath the canopy in all their glory. Now, as grownups, we have created lives of our own, but our lives sprouted from the same soil as those seeds.

In my favorite movie, Forrest Gump, Forrest stands at Jenny’s grave and says, “I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it’s both. Maybe both is happening at the same time.”

I believe everything happens for a reason.  We are all part of a divine plan.  None of us however, knows what that plan is.  We are all floating on a breeze in life.  Winds of change come without warning.

I do trust what those little girls dancing under that canopy knew.  We each have many seeds to scatter.  Seeds of hope.  Seeds of joy.  Seeds that have survived a harsh winter to bloom anew again the very next spring.  We are all sprouting under the same canopy.  We need only to remember to dance.

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