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The Work is in the Roots

A tree’s work isn’t founded in its fruits but rather its roots.  

There will always be years of little harvest or late freezes that steal its blooms. What gives a tree external beauty are the little workings under the surface that no one ever sees. They would be more grateful for the underground system keeping them upright year round, not what it can produce each season. 

Focusing more intensely on the fruits of our labor rather than the labor itself leaves our roots deprived. Neglecting the process of rooting ourselves makes us like intricately stained glass--a beautiful exterior that lacks the substance to withstand even a nick or scrape.

Resting in our roots eliminates the distraction of perfection. Often the finished product is the only thing by which we judge ourselves: how buttoned-up we look, how a neighboring eye perceives us, or if our rigid expectations became a reality. By focusing on the roots instead of the fruits, we operate in freedom. We can enjoy the messy process of growth and laugh when things don’t go as planned. We can take pride in our dents, cracks, and scratches, because it tells an authentic story.

Cultivating wild roots is about being real with our work and with ourselves. Perfection, even if attainable, would end up boring; there is no Cinderella story, no underdog defying the odds, and no point of connection. And when we tap into our roots, the fruits we desire to produce that once seemed impossible come alive with a limitless vigor.

So look after your roots, and chase your more wild ones. The adventure is only beginning. 

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