Paper Birch Peels

July 18, 2023

Paper Birch Peels

By Amba Gale

In July, in Isle Royale National Park this year, my husband and I took a hike along one of Isle Royale’s uneven trails, and found ourselves walking a path through a forest of Birch.

The Birch’s trunk was peeling, like paper.

In fact, this kind of tree is called, “Paper Birch.”

I asked my husband about this natural process.

He said, “As the Birch grows, the diameter of the trunk expands slowly.  The old bark peels off to make room for the new bark to grow underneath.”

I was astounded, as his speaking became a metaphor, reminding me of me, and my journey through life. Just so, us.

And, so, I wrote a poem:

White birch sheds its bark

in tandem with the trunk’s growth,

making way for new.

Aren’t we all just this way, as well?

We, too, must shed our older bark, to make way for the new that wants to grow.

Old bark takes many forms: old beliefs, old ways of being and seeing, old and outmoded paths for survival that served us once but now deaden our flow, old habits through we were once served but no longer serve.

What is your old bark?  (I invite you to PAUSE, to address the question)

This is a Time of Awakening.

For all of us.

Awakening includes Awakening to the awareness of what paper bark it is time to peel off, in behalf of allowing the tree within us, to grow.

How simple, you might say.

Simple, AND true.

For many of us, we start to become cognizant of the bark that peels, that says, “End your story and begin another,” only when our lives have lost their meaning, and their purpose, or when a big stop shows up in our space that keeps us from the flow of life, a boulder in the stream that we have not gotten around, or, when it is, simply time to create a new beginning.

The “who you are now/who you have become” is to be re-discovered in this new time, new place, as we reconnect with this, our new World, asking to be re-Awakened.  Asking to Live.  Asking to Be.

As we enter this now new world of ours, come friends, in the form of conversations, Pilgrim’s paths, you could say, that, if you walk them faithfully and well, you will come to a new home of Being.  

One of those friends could be The Heart of Leadership,  a conversational pathway for finding your own path, your own Voice,  through your own woods, 

If you have taken The Heart of Leadership previously, watch this video. 

I have a special offering for you!

If you love words, and want to read more


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