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Take it from a Tree: Divide and Sway
Last week, NPR reported that a French physicist figured out why. By reproducing its area in this precise way, a tree is best able to withstand high winds and not fall over during storms and hurricanes. The writer suggested that architects and engineers might use its structure as a model for constructing buildings. I, however, am beginning to think I may need to use it as model for dealing with life. I'm no Renaissance-era genius, but it seems to me what the tree is doing is divvy the amount of space it takes up in the world—getting smaller and more flexible, the further it gets from its sturdy center, so that that it can sway when stressed.
These days, I have a pretty good idea of what lies my own sturdy center: kids, husband, job. About these things I am rigid. There must be time made for them, period! This has come about as a result of a brutal learning process, during which I had previous thought a lot of other things (say, my buckling tile bathroom) were also at my center. Sadly, they are not, and my first impulse was to chop all those other things off. No time to see friends for dinner? Then just don't have friends. No time to shop? Just wear your old bras until your babysitter sees the black one in the dirty laundry basket and thinks it's a part of a ripped spiderweb costume. But the truth is, these lesser things need to remain on the tree or you'll end up broken and blown away. The trick probably is finding the right branch for each expectation: a stout one for my friends (meet them for a quick coffee instead of dinner), a slender bendy one for my new bras (order several online and count on at least one fitting), and even a potentially breakable tiny twig for the bathroom tile (fix it next year...or maybe never). Not only will the structure protect you from high winds and stress, but it might also protect anybody who'd like to lean against you.
How to tell if your bra fits
The stress-detector test
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