Not all the same

Florida oaks in spring
various oaks in spring
Spring arrived in our part of Florida last week, with a flourish of pollen and new tree leaves. It amazes me how various oak trees handle spring. Some are totally covered in nothing but pollen, others shed brown leaves as bright green ones push them away, while some simply send out slender new leaves, tentative steps toward turning green. And others are ablaze with color. All oaks. All different. Maybe it’s the pollen, but I can’t help taking this deeper. With all the diversity in our world, what is it in our psyche that wants to box things in, group them all the same?
oak in spring with reddish leave
oak in spring with reddish leaves
new oak leaves in Florida
new oak leaves
willow oak with new leaves in Spring in Florida
willow oak with new leaves

Do you remember as a kid, when houses all looked like this?
kid drawing of a house
And we drew trees like this?
kid drawing of a tree with rounded crown
Or this?
kid's drawing of pine tree
And people, depending on our developmental age, like this?
kid drawing of a man
Or this?
kid drawing of a girl with digits
We’ve grown up from that place, and those who, like many in my family, have artistic skills can paint a wonder of houses, trees and people, none alike, and all wonderful.

YD painted this.

Chocolate by Youngest Daughter
Chocolate by Youngest Daughter

Sometimes it looks like houses to me, and sometimes people. When I asked her recently what it is supposed to be, she said she wasn’t sure. That is a clue to her winsomeness — that she doesn’t need to nail it down, put it in the box of “house” or “people.”

Snowflakes . . . Fingerprints . . . DNA . . . No two alike.

The Creator obviously celebrates differences, or there wouldn’t be thousands of different kinds of insects!

So why do we expect, or want, people to all fit in a box? In the land of “I did it my way,” and the supposed importance of the individual, it surprises me how much we want to herd others into pens of alikeness.

How little we really tolerate anyone who deviates from the norm, unless, of course, it’s our norm.

Here come some stereotypes – sorry, I can’t avoid it even to make my point.

If you’re in Arizona, you want to seal up your border with Mexico and suspect everyone who looks “Mexican.” (Never mind that Arizona was once a part of Mexico and the oldest families, once Mexican, have been ranching there for hundreds of years.) But if you live in Oregon, then the citizens of Arizona are intolerant, stiff-necked red-necks, not worthy to call themselves Americans.

If you don’t believe me, just read the letters to the editor for a few days, or listen to the talking heads on the news stations.

Attacking the different ones, and the different ones attacking.

Sadly, sometimes we are hardest on ourselves. How many times do we test our worth by how well we fit in with those around us?

Why should it hurt so much to be different?

I couldn’t resist adding this video.

(photos this week from my cell phone)

5 thoughts on “Not all the same

  1. “How many times do we test our worth by how well we fit in with those around us?”

    THAT is the question, Jane.

    P.S. Oh goodness, my drawings still look like those. STILL.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those are my pictures, Dani. I can do a little better, but nothing like I see in my mind. I sort of halfway get a nice picture, like I do a lot of things. Almost, not quite . . .
      But it’s okay, I tell myself.
      “almost” and “not quite” are okay.God only had one perfect child, and I’m not it.


  2. Wait…Arizona people are like that??? I never knew! And I live in Oregon! wtf is WRONG with me! WHERE’S MY BOX!!! I have been too busy with my Procrustean bed and neglected my box.

    sob Jane, I am so ashamed of letting down my fellow Oregonians, and even more for not treating the Arizonans the way they need to be.

    Charissa giggles so hard tongue falls out of cheek

    Oh my…in case you couldn’t tell, I loved your post! ❤


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