Thursday, January 26, 2012

Burls and Pearls

Two tree burls next to each other
What is more intriguing in this picture.....the two burls or the layered blue-pink-blue sky in the background?

Inside of a tree burl

Somewhere along the line I watched a television program about a guy who creates one-of-a-kind bowls and centerpieces out of tree burls.  His finished products were exquisite. He pointed out the spiraling, the knotting, the twisting and the gnarling of the wood grain inside these burls that is responsible for the intricate patterns and colors that cannot be found anywhere else.

What causes these burls, or abnormal growths, on trees?  Some think that fungus or insects can stress the tree enough to cause the disruption in growth, others think it comes from injury to the tree, while still other theories lean toward genetics and environmental pollution.

A pearl growing inside an oyster
This reminds me of the oyster and the pearl.  When a grain of sand, or other foreign substance, gets inside the oyster shell, it's kinda like when we get a sliver in our finger.  Only thing, the oyster isn't able to go to the medicine cabinet for the tweezers and take it out.  Instead, the oyster's only natural solution is to cover the bothersome foreign object with the same material its shell is made of.  Eventually this covering grows into the valuable and the much sought after pearl.

Just imagine the number of these healing miracles that are happening on Planet Earth right at this moment.  We can't hear them and we can't see them, but they are near us and are everywhere.  If we want to find them and be aware of them, all we have to do is look for the things with flaws and defects.

"I think miracles exist
 in part as gifts
 and in part as clues
 that there is something beyond
 the flat world we see."
  ~Peggy Noonan