For nearly thirty years I’ve been watching a small forest of bamboo growing in our backyard. Once the original plants have matured sufficiently, a dense growth of roots grows outward, weaving together so tightly that it’s nearly impossible to cut even a small trench through them with a pick and an ax.
The roots keep growing, completely unseen, becoming thicker, deeper, and more numerous. After several years the roots form a knot of tiny radial tendrils and from these spring the shoots that break the ground and leap for the sky. This year the growth of shoots in my bamboo is especially dramatic, with some stalks growing 30 feet in 30 days.
Bamboo grows both remarkably fast and strong. There are weeds in my yard that grow almost as fast, but I can easily pull them up by the roots. The weeds grow from weak roots, while the bamboo doesn’t send up its stalks until the roots are ready, and then each stalk draws from the powerful roots until it reaches its full height. During this rapid growth in height, the stalk bears no leaves, reserving its strength to enable it to reach as high as possible. Only then does it produce branches and leaves, which can then return strength back to the roots.
We could learn much from bamboo.
As children, we should have been given a strong system of roots, but for most of us that did not happen. Our roots were weak, rotten, or misdirected, so when we attempted to rise up to the sky, our growth was not healthy. Our stalks grew weak and twisted, so when the winds blew—when circumstances were difficult—often we broke.
But now, as we find and trust unconditional love in our lives, we have a chance to grow a new network of roots. We’re not in a hurry. We can gather love and build roots that are plentiful and strong, and then from abundance, we can send out shoots that branch and bear leaves. We can love others and contribute to the strength of their roots that will enable them to grow as we did.
Gather love and build roots with peace and happiness.
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