Gnarled

I keep returning to this picture. Again and again. I took it with my phone one day as I was enjoying a relaxing walk around my neighborhood. It reminds me that life is not easy. It reminds me that situations we wish were defined in black and white are often muddled by cloudy gray. Right, wrong, good, better, best, why.

As I think about the way this picture makes me feel, some words from Into the Woods often echo through my mind (see below). Just because life can be messy doesn't mean we aren't equipped to handle it. Every encounter we have with difficulty prepares us to deal with the next one. We grow. We become stronger. We become more stable.

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So into the woods you go again,
You have to every now and then.
Into the woods, no telling when,
Be ready for the journey.
Into the woods, but not too fast
or what you wish, you lose at last.
Into the woods, but mind the past.
Into the woods, but mind the future.
Into the woods, but not to stray,
Or tempt the wolf, or steal from the giant--
The way is dark,
The light is dim,
But now there's you, me, her, and him.
The chances look small,
The choices look grim,
But everything you learn there
Will help when you return there.

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