Road Trip Day 21 – Redwood Resilience

Redwoods 228 years ago yesterday a cranky, fat baby came into the world. That would be me…and around 10,000 other babies born on August 13th that year.

Those 28 years have produced some interesting and unique experiences that make up who I am today (still a somewhat immature control freak).

Of all the millions of personality traits that I wish I could boost within my own odd composition, I would give anything to be endlessly resilient.

A friend suggested that I have demonstrated a lot of resilience simply in getting into a 79 VW van and agreeing to stay in there for a month (I’m not a genuine hippy and typically spend at least an hour in the bathroom in the morning).

However, I would argue that the person who can stay totally cool under any pressure and flex with any challenge is prepared to rule the world.

The Redwoods are a ridiculous example of resiliency. We actually stopped at a tourist trap called the “Immortal Tree” because over the last 1,800 years it has survived a flood, a logging attempt, and a direct lightning strike.

Even more impressive, dozens of other giant Redwoods we saw had been hit by lightning, were completely hollow from the bottom to the top, and still thriving.

Interestingly, the roots of Redwood trees are fairly shallow. Their greatest enemy is the wind. In avoiding an unfortunate demise after a storm, they twist and wind their roots together to create a system that supports the community.

Similarly, the more I willingly rely on the strengths of others rather than trying to control every detail myself, the less reactive and stressed I feel in the event of change or challenge. I am positioned to take advantage of opportunity and thrive under pressure.

This may not be a startling revelation to most people, but as a traditional introvert my natural inclination is to rely on the only person I can control, myself. This is a recipe for meltdowns and visible frustration.

I have many people that have intertwined their roots with my own to thank, especially those who squirmed their roots in while I tried to keep them out. I look forward to supporting and appreciating the support of many more giants in my life.

What one aspect of your personality would you change?

  1. The redwoods really were more amazing than I expected. The kind of experience that makes you sit and ponder life before settling back in to fight over the remaining Doritos.

  2. What an insightful metaphor. I had no idea redwoods had relatively shallow roots, and intertwined with those in the community to stand.

    And those photos are amazing. The one with the VW really gives you an idea of the size.

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