TAPROOT DECISION: EVERGREEN OR GREEN BEAN

The Time Portal Tree
The Time Portal Tree

The decisions of the most significance to our lives whisper.

Douglass Fir cone
Douglass Fir cone

Choosing to live life as either an evergreen or a green bean is a tiny decision with mighty impact. It is a “taproot” decision–one willful, mindful “yes” or “no” to either spring up in 21 days and die like a sweet pea or grow up to defy gravity for 2 thousand years and seed a forest like a Great Redwood. Often pushed into making life altering decisions when we are too young and inexperienced,  the possibility of making mistakes that have the potential to ruin us is always but one step away. I say the “potential” to ruin us because we humans, unlike plants, have more options. Let me show you what I mean:

Drop the seed of a sweet pea in the ground,cover it and nurture it.  21 days later, there are leaves above the ground. Its root system is only a hand-span deep and its vinous stem will crawl along the ground if it is does not find a stake or a fence post to climb on. Before the summer comes, it will produce delicate, sweet-smelling flowers which shortly drop as it produces pea pods. 60 days and done. Contrast that with a cute little Douglass Fir cone dropped into the forest floor. In one year, the seedling would hardly be a foot tall and still years away from being ready to bear flowers or set seed. However, it will grow into a being with a taproot that goes deeper into the ground than two men are tall and a branching root system capable of even breaking through cement sidewalks. This is the reason Firs which were originally Christmas trees are not great foundation plantings  and must eventually be moved out of front yards.

These days, companies want their new employees fast growing, already flowering yet have no time or resources to grow productive workers.
Should we despair about supervisors’ frustration with our slow growth? Does it matter that it takes such a long time for some of us to develop professionally?That depends on whether we want to conduct our careers as if we were a pretty little one-season pea plant or a century spanning Douglass Fir.

Advertisements