Between the Rock and Tree

Russell - Turlock, California
Entered on January 23, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in stability and growth.

There is a place deep in the Sierra Nevada’s called Sand Flat. The name is pretty much self-explanatory, but this is the birthplace of most of my childhood camping memories. My family and I would go there every summer to escape the heat of the valley. We would choose the furthest walk-in camp sight. It was surrounded by huge pine trees, I love that smell.

When I was a toddler, I would try to climb my granite mountain, but I never could without the help of my dad. A few years went by and I could do it on my own. The first time I made it all by my self, I was on the top of the world! I could see everything, and I was so tall. I could do anything. As I got older, I realized that my “mountain” was a seven-foot boulder that I could easily top in a single jump.

A short hike away, was a small pine tree on a hill. When my parents were first married, this tree was two feet tall. Now, its trunk is over six inches thick. Every time we’re there we take a picture. The tree grows with us. It’s like our version of the doorframe that you mark your height on.

The great thing about my rock and the tree is that they will always be there. Even when I move away, I can always come back to those markers of growth. They are some of my constants.

Whenever I feel like I’m “on top of the world” and I need a reality check, I think of the rock. It reminds me to look at life in proper perspective. It reminds me to look at the world through the eyes of a child.

Whenever I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything, or gone anywhere, I think of the tree. It continues to grow and thrive through trials, and every year it makes progress. It reminds me to celebrate my accomplishments. It also reminds me that time goes on so no matter what’s happening in my life, I should make the most of it.

I believe that everyone should have constants to measure their growth by. I’m thankful for my parents making and keeping these traditions so I could have constants to measure my progress. Because of them, I believe in stability and growth