The old tree stood, tall and proud against the clear blue sky. It had stood here for many years, through wind and rain and cold and snow. It had stood there for many years. It had seen whole eras come and go. It was now time for the tall proud tree to begin a new era of it’s own.
Change is painful. It was only through deep wounds that the tree was taken from it’s roots in the forest, transported by powers greater than it’s own. Birth is painful. And it was only by more wounds that the old tree is reborn into stacks of useful lumber. Useful but still very imperfect.
The lumber is stacked and sorted. The boards from our tall proud tree are set aside on a smaller pile in the corner. The lumber from other trees is moved to another place. Our pile grows slowly. Occasionally more boards are added but more often days go by when nothing happens.
Finally the stack is taken to another place. Once again the lumber is sorted. Most of the boards are planed and sanded into objects of beauty but once again the boards from the tall proud tree are simply stacked into a corner.
They are left alone. To wait.
Many other boards come through the shop. All of them carefully crafted and used.
But not the boards from the tall proud tree. They simply stay in the corner.
The boards seem useless, set aside indefinitely. How long will they be here? Why does the craftsman seem to have no use for them? Are they really useless? If so, why have they not been thrown away, or used for kindling or some such purpose? Would that not be better than to be forgotten?
Because the boards cannot know what the craftsman is thinking, they do not understand.
Because the boards are looking at circumstances, they seem to be forgotten.
But the craftsman has a plan.
Although the boards have never guessed the truth, they are the finest ones in the craftsman’s shop. They are not set aside because they are useless. Instead, they are set aside because something so fine as the wood from the tall proud tree cannot be used carelessly.
It must be used for something that will be treasured.
And so one day, after years of waiting, the craftsman takes the wood from the corner and begins a long slow process of shaping and sanding and smoothing. No machines will be used on these boards. Everything is done by the hands of the craftsman.
And though the process may be painful, it is not so painful as the years of waiting and feeling forgotten.
Waiting is always the hardest part. Waiting and being forgotten. At least feeling forgotten.
You are not forgotten. You are simply the finest in the craftsman’s shop. Someday, at the perfect moment, he needs you to craft a treasure.
The craftsman’s boards are fashioned into a beautiful chest. He builds it carefully and slowly. He carves intricate patterns into the boards. It is a gift for his daughter. It must be perfect.
The carvings feel like the carving on your soul. Gut-wrenchingly, slowly painful. Seemingly never ending.
But there us a purpose.
There is a plan.
The tall, proud tree can be prouder still of what it has become. It would have died soon, had it stayed on top of it’s mountain.
Perhaps it died this way too, in a sense, but it died only to be reborn into something equally beautiful.
I give credit for the inspiration of this post to Daniel Vendley. Thank you for letting me put my words to your thoughts.