Bruno Munari wrote a book about drawing a tree.
He was inspired by Leonardo (from Vinci) who found a basic pattern in the growth of a tree, a pattern that underlies the unique twists and turns that happen as the tree grows.
He writes, "The tree spreads its branches and, as the years go by, its trunk gets bigger and bigger and the branches more and more numerous. Every leaf at the top of the branches has a tube that goes through the trunk which keeps it in contact with the ground. It uses the tube to suck up its nourishment. The trunk is where all these tubes are grouped together, which is why it is larger than the other branches...We can establish a rule of growth: the branch that follows is always more slender than the one that precedes it."
I am in a Women's Group on Tuesdays. Every time we meet, we visit like trees coming together in a forest. We compare our slender branches and the strength of our "tubes to nourishment."
If we were all to become one tree, in that one hour on Tuesday mornings, then we would be branches reaching out like hands, reminding each other to use the tube for nourishment, reaching down through our common trunk together, seeking God. God is our root system, our food source, our trunk.
Sometimes we don't always look like trees that get along well in the forest. Sometimes our coming together is not always happy; sometimes trees can hurt and grow and be sad together.
Lately, E. lost her kids to DHR again...T. lost her job because she couldn't find childcare or transportation...J. burned up her new apartment's kitchen...K. found out her mom has stage four cancer...B. went to the hospital with her husband who has a flesh-eating bacteria, and she forgot to pack compassion in her purse...S. is drinking again...C. went back to an abusive relationship where she is not safe because the shelters were too difficult to navigate...C. has not been to group in months and is not answering her phone...D. got a new tattoo of maybe a new boyfriend's name and lost possession of her apartment...
Sometimes the branches of a tree look disorganized and bent by the wind. Maybe they are a little scrawny and haven't produced a leaf in years. But they are still connected to the tree. There is still a tube through that trunk.
That gives me hope for my beloved Group that I look forward to each week...Our branches are weird and scrawny and tatted-up, but we are connected but tubes and roots, wrapped in the sturdy trunk of God.
Amen to that.