|Picture Courtesy of Library of Congress|
I’m a nutty girl. I like quotes from famous people. I hang on their wisdom like it is a life raft in the middle of a stormy sea. I started thinking about how much I like quotes yesterday on MLK Day. He said one of my favorite quotes, “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”
You see, there are all sorts of craziness in the world. I think it speaks to our character that we choose to act in the same manner, even when everything else is falling apart. There is a Zen to this philosophy and it is a Zen I strive for everyday. Stay true to yourself. Don’t give into the fanatical thoughts and action of others, even of the world. In the end, those feelings and thoughts do nothing for us.
So I write for the sake of writing. I write because it is cathartic. I write because it is who I am and what I do. The world might think I am crazy. They might tell me to quit, but I won’t and I can’t. The world tells me that I should be concerned with politics and current events. The world tells me that I should focus on what kind of car I have, what kind of home I live in, what kind of clothes I wear. The world tells me this is important, even though it isn’t. That makes what is REALLY important at war with the world’s ideals. The world is raging and waging war with my ability to plant my apple tree.
|Apple Tree Picture Courtesy of |
David Luther Thomas
But besides my wars, there are other storms. Everyone goes through their own war every single day. The mother with the special needs child who stands up for their child in public, even though the world says, “just shut up and deal with your hand.” The person with a chronic disease or illness that refuses to let it knock them down. They push through even though their body begs them not to. The man with a family to feed who lost his job in this lousy economy. He refuses to take no for an answer even though there are no job listings. The person reading as many self help books as they can in an effort to learn to forgive someone who wronged them in such a terrible way. The woman struggling with her weight and despite the fact that the pounds won’t shed, she continues to work out and eat right. The person diagnosed with a mental illness trying to find emotional balance even though their family continues to tell them it is simply “an attitude problem.” I could keep going because there are so many brave people in the world. These people are my heroes. These people are staying true to their character while striving to be better people. These are their wars and they battle them bravely.
MLK would be proud. These heroes are planting their apple tree while the world is falling apart, while the world is telling them not to. I would go one further. They are not only planting their apple tree, but they are also fertilizing it and well. And that tree? Well, it’s going to grow into a beautiful tree, dripping with fruit for other people to savor. And you know what? These are the people that will leave us with quotes of wisdom for us, for our children, for our future. These everyday heroes will leave a legacy. It is this part of humanity that I connect with. My heart is tender toward them. I am honored to know them. I believe in them. They are my hope and provide me with an example to live by.
I hope that I can stay the course. I hope I can ignore the cataclysmic events in my life and in the world. I hope I can find my tree, plant it and learn to give it the nutrients it needs as time goes by.
Thank you to all of you who plant their apple trees, even when the world is fighting against you. I want you to know that whether I know you or not, I love you.
Stephanie D. Birch finds inspiration in the battles of the ordinary and not-so-ordinary. Even if it isn't successful by your standards, she begs to you accept that maybe it was all along. Your wars and lives are a beautiful mystery. She is honored to know so many amazing and inspiring people. To contact her, visit www.stephaniedbirch.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org