Forest or trees?

blogIMG_8321Sometimes you really can’t see the forest for the trees.

One of the many truly amazing sights our family encountered while living in the Pacific Northwest was the dense, thick forests there. 

Moving from the mostly plains of the Midwest to that area of the country, I remember well how awestruck I was the first time I saw the size of the massive trees there.

After stepping off the plane on my first trip to the Pacific Northwest for a house-hunting mission, I vividly recall marveling at the colossal Douglas fir trees we saw as Papa and I ventured around the area in search of our new home.  

Once we moved there and settled in, we took our children on many excursions to explore our new domicile and again I marveled at the density of the forests.

As a native northeasterner, forests were nothing new to me. In my childhood, my family spent a lot of time in our modest “camp” near one of the national forest areas of our home state. So I’d seen thick forests. But not like the giants of the Pacific Northwest or the immense Redwoods of Northern California, which we also visited.

I wish now that I had taken the time to photograph those dense forests we visited, but after looking through all of my pictures taken with old-school film (long before digital cameras), I don’t have a shot that I feel does enough justice for this week’s photo challenge – dense.   

So the more recent photo above (a stand of bamboo at a zoo last summer) will have to do, although it is nothing like the thickness of the Pacific Northwest forests. This picture does show density, but not like the almost impenetrable forests ensconced in my memory. Those trees simply take your breath away.

But it’s true you can’t really see the forest for the trees. The trees capture your attention in such a way that you might miss a less commanding sight right there in the forest.

Sometimes things are so dense that you just can’t see your way through, just like those thick, concentrated forests. And often I feel like I’m just as dense.

Like when I just can’t see a solution to a problem even when it’s staring me in the face. Is it really because I’m dumber than a box of rocks? Or is just a case of stubbornness? Not wanting to face the problem or the solution? Maybe even pride?

I’m not sure but I know one thing for certain. When I can’t see the forest for the trees, I need to stop looking at the trees, no matter how glorious they may seem. The answer may just be on the forest floor right in front of me.

“Pride works frequently under a dense mask, and will often assume the garb of humility.”  ~ Adam Clarke (1760 or 1762-1832), British theologian and Biblical scholar

©2017 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

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4 responses

  1. Lovely photo and post today. Trees are such a special treat for us, since there aren’t too many where we live… just the ones we plant in our yards. So seeing dense forests on vacation is an extra special treat. I will confess, though, that I start feeling a bit claustrophobic if I’m in such a place very long. And I sympathize so much with your take on not seeing the forest for the trees way too many times myself and especially in dealing with my troubled sister right now again. It’s easy to get caught up in her “weeds” and I need to just step back and keep the bigger picture in mind right now. Thanks for the good word today! ❤

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    • When you are used to all those wide, open spaces, I can see why the forest might make you feel claustrophobic. Funny thing – for me, having grown up around woods until I got married and moved away from home, being on the plains of Oklahoma, kinda scared the wits out of me! All that empty space as far as the eye could see! 😀

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  2. I’m gradually getting to know my own forest (three acres of it!) and am discovering wonderful new things every day (we have pussy willow trees; there are frogs in our ‘pond-puddles’; if you are not in the forest when a tree falls, it might not make any sound but it sure does make a big mess!) As I wander around, I’m always torn between looking up into the high canopy for birds or down by my feet for skittering creatures and woodland flowers. Its a never-ending challenge not to miss one thing because I’m looking at another. Life’s like that, too – you can’t keep your eyes (or attention) on everything all at once; the challenge is recognizing what’s most important RIGHT NOW and focusing on that (and in trusting that what you SHOULD be paying attention to will slip into your line of sight through divine intervention!)

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    • I LOVE your comment, Margo! Sounds like your forest is so very delightful and I’m so happy for you to have the time to enjoy it. And I totally agree with you – we have to recognize what’s most important and focus on that. Be blessed, my friend.

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