No, not the U2 album.
I’m reading the Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls at the moment and was overwhelmed by her descriptions of the Joshua Tree.
“One time I saw a tiny Joshua tree sapling growing not too far from the old tree. I wanted to dig it up and replant it near our house. I told Mom that I would protect it from the wind and water it every day so that it could grow nice and tall and straight. Mom frowned at me. "You'd be destroying what makes it special," she said. "It's the Joshua tree's struggle that gives it its beauty.”
The Joshua Tree, sometimes beaten by the wind, grows sideways, but its roots are firmly in the ground. It is resilient in the face of almost anything and just by looking at one that has weathered the storm you are amazed at how beautiful it is in light of its obvious struggle.
In a way this reminded me of the year I’ve had so far. There is nothing easy about ‘trying to do it all’, about raising a child and having a career. And often I’ve felt like this tree.
In the literal sense, there are days when I physically cannot get it all right and land up at work with porridge on my shoulder and bags under my eyes and a look of fear and desperation (moms are nodding at this point) as I tackle the 14 000 things I need to do before lunch. In the emotional sense, there are days that you feel like you don’t have it all figured out, that you’ll never get it right. And just when you think it’s not going to get easier, it does. You realize your own strength, strength to make things happen, strength to do the best you can with what you have. That if you take things day by day, hour by hour even, you will reach the end of the day and still be firmly rooted in the ground. Sometimes against all odds.
One of the most amazing things (and there are millions) about motherhood is that it makes you see and live your own strength. That you are powerful beyond what you imagined. There is, after all, another little person counting on you, and when someone counts on you, you are inclined to want to succeed.
To Joshua Trees, to being perfectly imperfect, to being beautiful.