I stood in awe at the base of a tree. A redwood. It was tall, lush, and standing in a grove of other majestic trees.
But this one was different. Hollowed out by a fire at some point in its past, it seemed to my non-scientific mind that it should not be standing, let alone flourishing.
Yet here it was.
As my little boys ran through it, playing and giggling with delight, my mind struggled to understand how a tree could withstand a fire that surely could have, maybe even should have, destroyed it.
The resilience of the redwood struck me and then the soft thought landed: this tree is not dissimilar to people who have gone through things that should have destroyed them, but didn’t. They may have been left scarred and changed, but that only proves the majestic nature of their own resilience.
The following stories are my tribute to the men, women and children who have shown exceptional resilience in the face of adversity.
May their experiences encourage you to persevere through the storms and difficulties of your own life and reach the other side of trouble to stand proudly, bruised and scarred, among the redwoods. Flourishing.
Scars bear witness to the things that make us strong.