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about mebanyan tree

I was lucky enough to grow up in Hawaii which is the kind of place where the favorite playground feature was not a fancy swing set or state of the art jungle gym, but a tree. In my case, it was a banyan tree. I started exploring that tree over 40 years ago. Back then, its branches had already been polished to an oily sheen by previous generations of little hands and feet at play. In grade school, we spent hours climbing, exploring, and playing hide-and-go-seek in this tree. The people looking out for us had painted a couple of sets of white lines around the tree. First and Second graders could climb up to the first white line, while Third and Fourth Graders could climb to the second white line.

Those were limits imposed upon us to keep us safe.

When I graduated from high school, one of the teachers presented me with an etching she had made of this tree. She told me she had left out the lines because I was at an age where I could decide for myself how far I could go. Sage advice which I appreciate more and more with the passing of years.

Most of us tend to stick to the old rules and patterns of life. Not necessarily because they are the best ones, but because they are familiar, and we have practice abiding by them.

Sometimes that's okay. When I was six, I decided to start going by "Liz" instead of Elizabeth. In my six year old mind, three letters were a lot less labor intensive than eight. All of these years later, I'm content with that decision.


Sometimes, though, we want to change those old ideas or habits because we have outgrown the need for them. Rather than protecting us, these self-imposed limits are now holding us back.

Seems like that's a good time to explore new possibilities!



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