As the seasons change and summer winds down, I have been asked by peers and colleagues what some of the “stand-out” moments have been at the Museum over the last couple of months. After giving it some thought, one moment stood out among the rest. Not because it was better, or a more important learning experience, but for a different reason.
Back in May, the Museum crew was tasked with pruning and shaping some of the pine trees in the Japanese Pavilion’s stroll garden (Full-sized trees, roughly 30 feet tall). We were instructed to remove the dead needles, prune the elongated new growth, and cut back the dead branches from the tops of each tree. We were told to climb to the top and work our way down. After hearing this I quietly chuckled, as I thought this was a joke. A moment later everybody else scrambled up their tree and began chopping away. After contemplating for a moment, I realized I was too embarrassed to admit that I was afraid, and started to climb.
Needless to say, it was an immensely invigorating experience climbing up those pines and looking out over the other trees and seeing nothing but a deep green, vibrant blue and feeling the warm sun shine down. Its hard to quantify, but it was so refreshing to have a moment where I didn’t matter at all. Any concerns, doubts, interests, desires, nothing was relevant, only the experience mattered. I knew at the top of that tree that I was exactly where I was supposed to be.