As the zephyr wind shook all the trees in the forest and cut like a surgeon's blade, again I heard the sound of branches cascading to the earth.

The tree men are being comfortably sustained this winter with the wake of storms behind us -- and certainly more to come; more nights have resonated of something out of Dorothy's Kansas in the Wizard of Oz than I can enumerate at this point.

I like to consider the endurance of the trees to be like our own lives, challenged daily by forces that buffet us too and fro, either to ultimately strengthen us -- or, like the weaker limbs of the tree, break us.

Something about the gales that blast my cottage serve to remind me of things forgotten on tranquil days and nights.  That it is perilous out there is no question; that it is also necessary might be forgotten.

Whether it be a tree or ourself, survival of the fittest is the rhyme of the universe, always was and always will be.

Whatever survives incrementally strengthens. As I watch how the branches that bend are frequently the ones which survive I am reminded that the ones without adaptability stand no chance.

If we too might learn to bend to the wind, we could perhaps learn even to be grateful to it -- for reminding both the trees and ourselves our capacity to survive the storms.

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