a burl on a tree is caused by the tree undergoing some form of stress. indeed, if this were true for humans, we would be loaded with burls. instead, our burls are inner-burls. they don’t generally manifest as growths on the outside or present as small or large bark-covered lumpy warts. instead, our worry makes us lose sleep, have intestinal issues and headaches. it makes us eat too much, pour the glass of wine a bit too early, seek medicinal solutions or drugged numbing. it makes us argue and lash out, insist on our own way, slam doors both figurative and literal. it causes sickness, physical exhaustion, loss of relationship or work or time in our lives. we become afraid to share our burls with the ‘outside’, scarcely making headway, fearful of the opinion of others, confused by the wart in our lives.
we should be like trees. the burls cover with bark, insulating from the outside yet evident to the outside. they grow in response to the stress of disease or injury or insects, but a tree may continue to live with these burls indefinitely. actually removing the burl exposes the tree to infection. the burl wood is prized, with swirling grain patterns. often, burls are harvested (both legally and illegally), with stunning furniture and wooden bowls the goal of burl-wood-turners. these trees stand tall and mighty, growing from seedlings, co-existing with disease, injury, insects and, even, together with trees more beautiful sans burls. they wear their wrinkled protuberances with grace. they don’t rid themselves of the evidence of life amid stressors, seeking botox to hide irregularities and minimize affirmation of living. instead they continue on, growing and growing and growing – despite a few warts.