A Holiday Story-
Some may recognize this as a previous post entitled ‘A New Year’s Story’, and I beg forgiveness for the repeat; finishing up Bonsai Heresy (proofing just completed) has been all-absorbing. But I figured this story had continued utility, like last year’s advent calendar does:
Usually I offer the bungled photos of the year in a blooper reel to start the New Year. As I reviewed the year’s photos, however, it became clear that there weren’t enough qualifying photos. Which suggests either an uptick in selective shooting or a lack of studio clowns. Either way I have no photos for you this year.
So I’ll share a story instead.
On New Year’s Day I rode out on my bike to our local volcanically active mountain, Mt. Hood. I should qualify that by saying I rode towards Mt. Hood, as it’s too far away for a part-time bike commuter like me to reach and hope to return in the same day. On the way there I was leapfrogging with another rider, with the lead often changing during road crossings where we had to slow down. I was tailing him most of the time and assumed he’d soon leave me behind, being obviously a svelte and speedy road biker.
At one interchange he quickly looked both ways, and went across the road without pushing the button that would give the bike path the right of way to him. As he was crossing, though, he swerved to the button on the other side, and pushed it. For me. So I wouldn’t have to slow down.
I spent the rest of the trip riding his gift.
Inevitably, I began thinking of bonsai. When visiting other’s bonsai yards I often ask what their favorite tree is, and they tend to point out a tree that someone else started. Not one of their own creation. They often tell a story about the responsibility they feel for this tree, and even gratitude. Which gets me thinking. That so many would place such high value on what they didn’t craft themselves suggests that there’s something core there. And I think the reason we feel that way is because such trees already have momentum, and to continue that momentum is our privilege. Some trees had a button pushed for us by someone long ago.
Here’s wishing everyone a great 2020. Hope you all reach the mountain you’re aiming for, or at least get a few more rotations down the road toward it. And that you encounter strangers who make the light go green for you.
Mt. Hood at the end of the trail, on a glorious New Year’s Day-