Friday, April 1, 2011

Grow Deep Not Just Tall

Many, many years ago I met a woman who presented a staff development program at our school district who wrote several books, one of which was Grow Deep Not Just Tall.  I absolutely loved her presentation and her books and they have helped to form my philosophy not only of teaching but of living and relationships.  This book touched something in me that I can't even really explain, I just know I love the message that she presents.  Karen Kaiser Clark taught me a lot in the few hours she was with us that day, twenty three years ago.  And I thank her!

Humans have always searched for an oracle, a source of wise counsel and prophetic vision.  Oracles can take any form.  In this book it is an old, gnarled, oak tree that speaks to us.  This wise and weathered spirit has lived through many seasons.  He continues to Grow Deep Not Just Tall.  Openly he shares the gift of who he is with those who choose to listen. 

Our culture teaches us to be logical and sequential in our thinking.  Growth is often perceived as a progression from infancy, childhood, adolescence and finally into adulthood.  We are encouraged to look outside ourselves to find truth and strength.  We engage in competitive comparisons to define our levels of success and value.  The Tree offers a different and balancing perception.

Growing deep, like wisdom, extends beyond objective, critical forms of thinking.  Inches, seasons, even years address only the externals of real growth.  As The Tree cautions, "Look beyond the surface of first impressions."  The seasons in this book do not necessarily parallel the stages of human growth.  Reach deep within your core for light and warmth.  The Tree affirms, "We are each so much more than what some reduce to measuring."

This little book is filled with life and hope.  It does not give answers.  Rather, it offers invitations to you.  My Friend, to journey with The Tree and to grow through each season in your own way.  Search with your heart for what is real in each page.  The seeds of new beginnings are hidden everywhere; in the words, in the drawings and in you.  Growth takes time and patience to nurture into fullness.  Risk letting go and re-discover your own magic.  The gift of choice is yours.  Will you choose to live fully and to Grow Deep Not Just Tall?  The Tree patiently awaits your decision.

I was doing some research for a book that I'm currently working on and was drawn to this little book again for guidance and wisdom.  I encourage you to take a little time and discover it for yourself. 

You can find Ms. Clark's website at  There you can learn more about her and her wonderful books.

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