Shaking The Tree

You know that feeling.

You’re making progress. You’re moving forward, upwards, in your day, life, career.

Your numbers are adding up and matching. Your art is a cleaner. Your word count is in the triple digits. You’re in a state of Flow. Birds are singing. The sun is brighter. Your kids are well behaved. Your spouse wants to eat where you want to eat, and has even taken the garbage out. Everything is groovy.

You’re climbing that tree of success joy and happiness.

Then something comes along and shakes the fricking tree.

Suddenly you’re falling. Down you go. Grasping at branches. Trying to hold on to whatever you can. Only to keep falling, tumbling, twisting. Until finally, you crash to the ground with a thud. Breathless. Scratched, bruised, battered and torn. Staring up at the tree.

It’s not the first time.

You’ve been on that tree before. You’ve fallen before. And it hurts. It sucks to fall. It makes you sad. Angry. It makes you think about hating trees and moving where you’ll never see another one again.

But that’s too easy. It’s too easy to never try to climb again. It’s too easy to never think about trying again. It’s way too easy to walk away. Put the paint brush down. Press ‘Delete’ on the keyboard and erase the pages.

But you can’t do that. Neither can I.

So we stand up. Brush off the dirt from our clothes. Pull the leaves and broken twigs from our hair. Give the tree a great big hug. Then we reach out, grab a branch, and climb. Because one day, despite all the tears and bruises, we will climb to the top and see the view.

There’s a great song by Peter Gabriel called Shaking The Tree. Listen to it. Watch the clip in the link. Although written for a different purpose, some of the lyrics have helped me keep climbing. I hope it hits you and inspires you to not only climb your tree, but not to fear the shake.