I love gnarled and twisted trees. When I walk through a forest, I seek the knotted burls and admire the forms they create. Any ole tree can be straight. It takes character and tenacity to bend and warp. What are the causes? Some say environment, others say insect damage. I say it doesn’t matter as long as it can live and twist I will appreciate the beauty.

Maybe I love them because it reminds me that all things have a purpose, even when they are knotted and twisted. Except for yarn, there is no purpose of a tangled mess. When that happens I throw it away, no let me back up on that one. I will spend hours taking the tangles out of a skein of yarn, it’s a challenge I relish. At the end if it’s too tangled I will toss it and wonder if I won the challenge or if I lost.

I love gnarly oak trees they have such character.  Hikes with me are a slow meandering, leisurely walk through the trees. I’m not in any hurry to get from point A to point B. Therefore, it’s not a surprise that my husband and son go backpacking and leave me at home. They’re favorite is the high country in Yosemite. This is what they sent me for a conciliatory gift.
Consider a Bonsai tree. Now these aren’t normally twisted in nature, but by the hands of very patient artists. Yes artists. You have to have a long-term vision of the tree or you’ll end up 

with a dead one. This isn’t a quick slap it, wrap it and you’re done piece of art. It takes years to form the intricate twisted shape. At the Huntington Botanical gardens, they have a Bonsai court. These hundred-year-old trees in miniature are amazing. 

Next time you see a gnarled and twisted tree look past the deformity and see the beauty.  Even in gnarly twisted trees, you can gaze upon the splendor of God’s creation.

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