Once upon a time there were two little palm trees planted by the water. They didn’t choose to be there together, but they were glad to have each other’s company. As days went by, they swayed and laughed in the breeze. On dark nights, they were comforted, knowing they were never alone. Together, they weathered raging storms and blistering heat. The sound of the lapping ocean, mixed with the laughter of children below, was the soundtrack of all their days. They both grew to be beautiful, tall, and strong
But as they grew, they began to notice their differences.
One of the trees grew straight and just a little bit taller. As a result she felt embarrassed, awkward, and strange. She spent her quiet moments wishing she could be shorter and more curvy like her friend, so she would feel more normal and fit in. She tried to squat and hide and bend, but it only left her feeling frustrated and sad.
Meanwhile, the other tree grew with a slight curve.
It kept her from ever reaching the height of her tall friend. She could tell her curve pulled her away and created distance between them. She wished day and night that she could somehow grow straight up, to be level again with her friend. Over time, their friendship faded and even standing close together, they began to feel alone.
Until one day, a little girl came to the beach to play.
She’d traveled far, with a hammock in her bag and a dream in her heart. She’d been dreaming of finding two trees near the water, just the right distance apart with exactly the right amount of shade. Her heart leapt with joy when she found the two trees. She ran out to them hoping, hoping, hoping that her hammock would fit perfectly between them.
She took a deep breath and opened her pack.
She tied one end and walked to the other side, only to realize that the trees were just a little too close together for her hammock to swing. Just then, she noticed a curve in one of the trees. She raised the rope to the middle of the curve and to her sheer delight, it created the perfect fit.
She tied the hammock up tight and called to her mom and dad.
Her dad pushed her mom down the ramp and across the sand in her wheelchair. The little girl smiled with glee while together they lifted her mom into the hammock. There, beneath the shade of the two palm trees, she peacefully swung watching her daughter play. That day, the two trees realized their differences made them perfect.
They were each exactly who they needed to be.
Maybe you can’t see it clearly right now, but you are too. You may wish you were taller, shorter, straighter, or curvier. You may feel like your differences make things a little awkward with friends. But just keep going. Keep growing and leaning into each other. Stick together and one day you will see how the things that make you different, can make you each exactly who we need.
Embracing your differences brings more joy and healing to the world than you could ever dream.
Just like this tale of two trees.
to more love,