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Irrepressible Leaning Tree

Your root system is stronger than you think.

In winter, there are many days that start out for me feeling as bleak as the day our New York towers came down in 2001. There are people who experience physical shifts and emotional depression with overcast weather and lack of sunshine.

Something shifted on the global axis. and personally, in my world, when the towers came down. Our national sense of security was forever shaken. When there are long periods of ice and snowfall, even though it can be exquisitely beautiful, my personal security can be shaken. I forget to trust my roots. Can you relate?

In October 2001, a severely damaged tree was discovered at Ground Zero, with snapped roots and burned and broken branches. The tree was removed from the rubble and placed in the care of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

From the charred and broken tree, signs of life and hope emerged. Under the watch–care of the crew, the Callery Pear Tree began to thrive. After its recovery and rehabilitation, the irrepressible tree was returned to the Memorial in 2010.

New, smooth limbs extended from the gnarled stumps, creating a visible distinction between the tree’s past and present.

Today, the Survivor Tree stands as a living reminder of resilience, survival, and rebirth.

A few years ago, on the cusp of becoming an author, I visited the New York Memorial for 9/11 with my editor. We walked by the tree and celebrated its survival; two stunned strangers in a strange landscape igniting a friendship beside the signs of unnatural life.

What makes your towers fall?

What signs of life are emerging from the debris? Make a list, and inventory of the new branches, new leaves?

So many upheavals lately.

And yet.

And still.

That hushed and tranquil tree stands in Manhattan.

In the spring, it’s the first to bud and the last to lose its leaves in the fall.

Your root system is stronger than you think.

The network of support all around you is a social maze of amazingness.

A rich tapestry of connection. A matrix of life.

We, like that tree, are a living narrative of joyous entanglement.

Lean into that.

Kathy Joy is the author of the BREATH OF JOY gift book series.
You can find more from her at

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By Michael Furlonger

I am an author and the founder of CWB is designed to help and showcase the work of Christian authors and bloggers and podcasters.

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