In my family, we jokingly call it the Tree of Life for its regal, storybook appearance: Massive trunked, straight and broad, with branches that fan out like so many veins in a heart.
But, really it’s the tree of *our* lives, silently standing guard over all of our moments from our backyard. A peaceful, quiet sentry.
This week as I played in the backyard of my childhood home I noticed the tree watching as I pushed my kids through the backyard in a stroller, as My son splashed in a plastic pool, as my daughter perfected her first steps on the soft blades of northern grass.
That tree has always just, well, been there. How funny, I thought. For such a grand fixture, I had rarely noticed it in years past as I would speed through life.
Well this week has been different.
Fresh air, nature, playtime, family. I’ve gotten all of those in heavy doses so far this week. And it’s made me reflect on what matters.
Family and loved ones—those quiet background players who stand shoulder to shoulder with you in the cacophony of life? They matter.
The smile on the face of a friend you haven’t seen in months when laughing about memories? That matters.
The burn of the sun on your neck as you play outside and the smell of fresh-cut grass and not caring a lick about what you look like or what’s next in your schedule? That matters.
When I told people I was taking a week off for vacation to go home and just play outside, a lot of people looked at me like I was crazy. No beach house? No fancy cruise? Nope. I just needed so desperately to hit the Reset button in my life.
You’ve been there, right?
In the end, it’s not the Fancy or the Glossy that matters. You may have a million followers on Instagram or a billion on Facebook—putting nothing but your best, filtered face forward every day on social media.
But what about the people who know the REAL you? What do they think? That matters.
Take a minute. What—or who—is watching over you? What reminds you of the Simple in your life?
Take a minute, take a deep breath, and feel that grass beneath your bare feet.
Who are you when you’re standing under *your* tree?
The answer to that is all that really matters.