We were able to travel to southeast Utah and visited a couple national parks with unique and beautiful rock formations. The topography of the area is so unusual and breath-taking. As we were walking trails and observing various rock structures, we came upon many gnarly pine trees.
Later I found out these were Utah juniper trees. In this arid, almost desert climate, the trees have deep and broad root systems. The junipers grow slowly, only reach a height of five feet, but can live 350-500 years. They grow a pea-sized berry that are edible to animals and have been used over the years for medicinal and other purposes.
I found the trees fascinating. They have oddly twisted trunks and branches that extended in different directions. The junipers look dead, but have green foliage. The trees seem to grow out of rocks, in the strangest places.
We can learn a lot from the Utah juniper.
Make the best of where you are planted. Sink our roots deep, but expand our connections broad.
Life is going to be tough at times. If we take life slow and weather some storms, we can live our best life.
Over the years, we’ll lose certain things – our covering, our beauty, maybe a branch or two. But there’s a certain exquisiteness in aging.
We can remain productive and helpful a long time. We have a place and purpose in the world.