Which tree do you see?
There’s a famous Barbara Walters interview question – “If you were a tree, what kind would you be?” Or maybe it was Gilda Radner making fun of Baba Wawa on SNL. Whatever.
This dead tree caught my eye during my morning commute. I had to pull over and take a photo; maybe it was the dramatic sunrise lighting, maybe the way it was just laying on its side… like it was pushed over by a giant. As I framed the photo, I noticed the vibrant green tree living right next to it. Same hillside. Same weather conditions. One tree lives… and one is a skeleton of its former self.
Perhaps this is why I noticed the dead tree in the first place – it was in such stark contrast to the leafy green one. Or maybe my subconscious mind is just wired to notice death first, kicking in my reptilian instincts for self-preservation. This can be helpful for actual danger, but most of the time… just annoyingly stressful. Especially if you spend all day on high alert, preoccupied with the worst that can happen, and not enjoying the good news that is all around if you consciously look for it.
There was only one dead tree among hundreds of successful green trees I passed by this morning. I guess it comes down to a choice. If you focus less on attention-getting scary news, and focus more on good news, you might just have a less stressful day.
Take another look at the photo. Which tree do you see?