I recently had the privilege of accompanying a group of 32 senior citizens traveling along the Pacific Coast from San Francisco to Victoria, British Columbia. This particular tour is full of absolutely beautiful vistas. Among one of the more impressive creations are the Redwood trees.
I learned a few things about the Redwoods on this trip and could not help but see the similarities they have with the “say-yes-to-life” seniors that I had the honor to spend 10 days with.
- A Redwood forest is crowded with life. That is true of these people. They stay strong by saying “yes” to life. Their lives are filled with families and friends, volunteer opportunities, hobbies, church life and travels.
- The Redwoods’ root system is entwined with others. Researchers don’t even understand how they can grow so tall when they have no tap root that digs deep to secure it. Likewise, these friends grew up in a time when neighbors depended on neighbors and family worked together to make ends meet, make their fun and make their memories. They are healthy because of their relationships.
- The Redwoods help hold one another up. Their best defense against storms is the shelter they find among other Redwoods. Time after time on this tour, I saw them forming friendships, helping one another, encouraging one another and even commiserating with one another. Their strength is due in part to their associations.
- Redwoods are amazingly resilient. They stand the test of time. What they can live through and have lived through is nothing short of amazing. The same is true of the people that travel on our tours.
- Each tree wears the successes and scars of the years. I am always in awe as I learn pieces of the stories represented by those I travel with on these tours. The losses, illnesses, diseases and hardships don’t stop them. They continue to learn and grow. They are modest about their successes and humbly blend into the rest of the forest.
- The larger Redwoods fall, letting in the light for the younger ones. Most of our travelers have grandchildren and some have great – grandchildren. As our time winds down on this earth, it is encouraging to know that as we step aside, we make room and light the way for future generations.
Each of us walk through life exposed to both sunlight and rain. The elements help form us into who we are. While we are attending to daily life, God is fashioning something tall and strong in stature and spirit. May each of us be full of life, entwined with one another, provide one another shelter, and with resilience wear the successes and scars of the years. And may we always be willing to step aside, letting the light in for others.
Abundance is… growing stronger through all that comes our way.