Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Bare Bones

by Leigh

Every year...around this same time...I write about winter trees. I'm pretty sure every single year I have written about my love for tree silhouettes.  So imagine my excitement when our monthly theme happens to be tree branches!  I always say that you get to know trees in the winter when they are naked and exposed.  Their truth shows through when they aren't clothed by their leaves.  This is when we can see all gnarly branches, broken limbs, and peeling trunks.  

That got me thinking.  Maybe that's why I am so drawn to trees in the winter.  I see parallels between us and the trees.  Without their covering...without the distraction of the flashy colored leaves or the bright blooming flowers we see trees at their most vulnerable state.  We see exactly what they are....and all their imperfections.  If you aren't familiar with Brene Brown she is a research professor that has studied courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy and written about it in many of her best selling books.  In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, she defines vulnerability as this:  

Vulnerability-willingness to show up and be seen with no 
guarantee of outcome-is our greatest measure of courage.

That's what the trees represent for me.  I see them as brave, vulnerable, courageous.  They remind me that despite my flaws I can show up, be seen and be worthy of love.

Look at the winter trees.  Really look at them...study them...appreciate them.  We are connected to everything and everyone around us in some way.  

“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.

Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.

Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.” 
― Bren√© BrownThe Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are


Carol said...

Its so obvious in all your photography that trees speak to your soul, and here you have written so beautifully about them. You are someone who is so obviously in the right profession! But I am thankful that you write and photograph here at FOL so that we can all share in your artful life.
Beautiful post!

AFishGirl said...

"We are connected to everything." It is a profound truth that, if realized and embraced, changes everything. Only in the woods (with all the trees) do I feel this and then a sweeping calm overcomes me and I know those words to be true. In all times in history, this is a time when that truth most needs to be felt and experienced. The trees know. They surely do. Lovely photographs, Leigh.

Cathy H. said...

Beautiful images and well written words. Trees have been a symbol of courage to me too. They are amazing when you study them. I love the way the smaller trees fight their way by bending and curving to reach the sunlight. There are so many lessons we can learn from trees.

Dotti said...

There can be no doubt that nature has so many lessons to teach us - if we pay attention. And trees might be the stars in this endeavor. We need to open our eyes, ears and hearts to hear nature's lessons and then embrace them. Yup. Good thoughts here.

kelly said...

You have captured the true beauty of winter so perfectly leigh. xoxo

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