Friday, October 7, 2011

Metaphors for Life: A Living Bridge

In my novel The Promises She Keeps, hero Chase, who has autism, associates people with trees. He sees the troubled Zack as a strangler fig, a powerful tree known for choking the life out of other trees. But he tells Zack, "You could be a stunning tree. If I were to draw for you, I would draw a Moreton Bay fig that is larger than the one in Santa Barbara, California. It would be loaded with birds and surrounded by a beautiful park that people from all over the world would come to see."

When I saw this video about how the people of Meghalaya, India, have worked with strangler figs to create a life-saving solution to a serious regional problem, I thought about Chase and Zack, and I thought about how much potential we have in our own lives to overcome evil with good. It's not possible for me to see something like this without think of it as a metaphor for the way we choose to face the troubles of life. These people have taken the long view. They work with what they are given. They are teaching it to their children. And the result is lovely.

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