One of my favorite trees is the redwood. Magnificent standing monuments to the efficacy of family, of community.
These trees are often a thousand years old and grow to 300 feet tall. Yet the root system of a single tree rarely extends below eight feet. Hardly enough strength to keep them from falling.
Community keeps them upright.
Their roots intertwine with other redwoods in a community called a grove. The roots of the grove interconnect to other groves and an exponential strength evolves as each tree helps the other stand erect against fire and storm.
Our human species is similar to the redwood. Extended families gather in people groves, and like the redwoods, intertwine life with life, hopes with hopes, wishes with wishes.
Shared experience, empathy, and service to others help create a community.
This time of year we call that community, the Christmas Spirit.