There are those who grow like the Wolf tree,
Whose branches are winding and wide.
And those who grow like the Pine trees,
who grow in one direction.
I wrote this short poem a few days ago after discovering what exactly a Wolf tree is. Well, I guess I didn’t even know that they existed in the first place, but I think the imagery surrounding them is something cool to think about.
A Wolf tree is a shorter tree with branches that span outward and wide (the larger tree in the center of the picture above is the Wolf tree). If trees had arms, a Wolf tree’s arms would stretch to its sides like it’s trying to give someone a great, big bear hug. When you look at a Wolf Tree, it forms more of a circular shape as opposed to a linear one.
Now, the distinct thing about Wolf trees isn’t what they look like. What’s unique about Wolf trees is that they’re surrounded by tall, straight pine trees. When you see a Wolf tree, it looks kind of like that one kid in third grade who already had a mustache. It’s just a little out-of-place.
I won’t describe how a Wolf tree comes to be because that’s not the point of this post. The point is the poem I wrote.
After seeing the Wolf tree, I thought to myself, “Which tree would I rather be? The Wolf tree? Or one of the Pine trees?”
The question has more depth than you might think. I didn’t ask myself which tree I’d rather be because I wanted to decide whether I’d like being wide and gangly or tall and straight. I have no strong preference for the trees themselves, but rather for what each tree represents.
To me, the Wolf tree represents diversity; in terms of life and the skills we each have, I think the Wolf tree represents well-roundedness. It has a lot of shorter branches that grow in many directions and span wide around the tree. The Wolf tree is like the Renaissance man of the tree kingdom. It can do lots of things instead of just one.
Conversely, the Pine tree represent expertise. It doesn’t have many branches, and it doesn’t span outward, but it’s very, very good at one thing; growing tall. Instead of developing many, shorter branches, it dedicates it’s time to growing towards the sky to find a crucial resource. It can’t go in various directions, but it’s better than most at doing what it does.
So, with that in mind, which tree is better? Which would I rather be? Which would you rather be? Is it better to have many, adequate talents, or one, expertly developed talent? Should you be well-rounded or should you be specialized? In the forest of life, would you rather be a Wolf tree or a Pine tree?
I’m not sure what I would pick. It’s a pretty tough decision. But, if you know which you’d choose, I’d be most interested to hear. Thoughts, comments, and ideas are much appreciated. Refer back to the poem if you need some inspiration or insight. Even if you can’t choose one way or the other, I’d love to know your comments on the topic.
Until next time.