Not long ago, my wife and I went to visit a nearby Los Angeles gem called The Giving Tree (the name inspired by Shel Silverstein’s book).
As we started up the trail, we encountered a mother and her young daughter looking at some directions on a piece of paper.
“Giving Tree?” I said.
“Yeah,” replied the mother.
So we joined them on their quest, and after a grueling eight-minute hike, we reached the magical tree.
I had printed out the instructions from the website:
Give it your thoughts and prayers, or anything laying heavy on your heart. Then twirl.
The mother went first, closing her eyes, ceremoniously sending her desires to the tree, then concluding with a quick twirl. Satisfied, she turned to her little girl, who had breached etiquette and gone straight to twirling,
“What are you worried about, sweetie?”
Worrying is more an activity reserved for adults, so she had to think for quite some time. After maybe a minute of contemplation, she turned to her mother and said,
“I’m worried about the dinosaurs coming and attacking us.”
It was so cute we could hardly contain ourselves. So innocent and sincere, as only a child can be.
I found it interesting that she wasn’t really worried about anything in the first place. When she was prodded to think about it, it was EPIC—the apocalyptic return of the dinosaurs. When prompted to worry, the little girl took it to mean “imagine.” And she was right, worry is simply dumbed down, boring, counterproductive imagination.
After recovering from the adorableness and profundity, we sent our wishes treeward, twirled, and headed back down the hill, smiling. It was a good day.