I found myself thinking about the many types of wood that exist – specifically how each of them has specific qualities to it. This may not be that important on the surface, but it serves wonders when thinking of it as a metaphor.
While they all fall under the category of wood, there are certain characteristics that define them. For one, birch wood is known to be heavy, strong, and having very good benign properties to it (making it ideal for shock resistance). Balsa wood, however, is “soft” – able to be shaped and molded into anything the user desires. It is also biodegradable, and is known for high strength combined with low density. Though they are defined in one larger group – “wood” – they both contain unique attributes that differentiate them from others. They are the same, yet not.
Notice how these aspects can easily be translated into many philosophical interpretations. As the forest connects us with spirituality, the specific kinds of woods can do so in different ways. Allow me to invoke some symbolism.
The birch wood hits strong, striking you so greatly on impact that it takes your breath away. There must be a God, you conclude, as you marvel at its great might – for what else could make such a strong, mighty entity other than an equally mighty deity? In a way, you find yourself likening God to this tree – a stronghold. It is so unwavering, yet it doesn’t close you in with its girth. This is a stance to admire – an immovable stance that isn’t attempting to trip up others.
The balsa, while normal at first glance, is soft to the touch. Interesting. It’s flexible, adapting to every bit of pressure added. It’s light and, surprisingly enough, it bends. No wood that you’ve ever seen before took a state quite like this. Could this be likened to time and space? The battle between fate and destiny seems interwoven in the balsa’s fibers, again and again allowing a new form to be taken before it slowly returns to it’s original shape. What could you do with such a medium? Better yet, what reverent being could possess the skill to make it? Surely one who understood the flexibilities and intricacies of life – and possibly even relationships – must have made such an earthen treasure.