I'm surprised by the ways in which objects in the world grow. It isn't always linear or straightforward or tidy. Sometimes we can know but more usually, it's impossible to discern the circumstances that have led to a particular structure.
It may be easier to see this in the natural world (especially in beech trees, which seem to relish the layers and textures that their growth reflects and celebrates) but it happens in our lives, my life as well.
In winter's coming, I am seeing the ways in which seemingly chance decisions have echoed through my life and helped to sculpt the shape and structure of how I am today. It's curious and hard to explain, especially to younger folks. The structures, the patterns - easy or hard - become clearer to me even as they continue to have an impact on me.
Yet I have noticed that the more troublesome patterns also become more readily visible to me. With that, the opportunity to shift how I am, to act in my own self-interest becomes possible. That's the blessing!