Category Archives: Trauma


Thinking of Shrubs

A backyard fire a couple months ago severely scorched some of our shrubs, and we thought we had lost them. But last weekend we took a closer look and noticed some green leaves sprouting.  We pruned them and decided to let them be and see what happens. (That is a royal we—John did the hard work of pruning.

I know this regeneration process happens; I’ve read about it books and articles. But seeing it happen, day by day, in my own backyard has so surprised me.

IMG_1237After enduring the trauma of such a hot, intense fire, I expected these shrubs to wither. I expected them to say (if they could talk), “I’ve had enough. I’m exhausted. I just can’t keep going. I’m just going to fold into myself and wither. I gave you myself and my beauty for a period, but now I just have nothing left.”

Perhaps I imagine those words coming from my shrubs because these same words have rattled in my mind and heart after traumatic events in my own life. I just feel so tired, so useless, so defeated.

Trauma does that, doesn’t it?

I know many of you have experienced traumatic events that pale in comparison to a backyard fire. The event has left you feeling broken, depleted, rejected, frozen in time . . .

May I encourage us all to take a lesson from my shurbs?IMG_1289

Don’t give up and fold into yourself. Trim back your expectations a bit to give yourself the energy to embrace new growth. And remember, your life brings a one-of-a-kind beauty to this world, a gift to those around you.

Let me leave you with a beautiful song about trees that takes me back to my junior-high days. This is a song by Ken Medema (copyright 1976 Word Music LLC.) sung by Evie Karlsson with addition of dozens of tree photos. Enjoy!