How a tree grows

. 1 min read

Perhaps you have noticed that I like to see allerogies and metaphors of the human psyche in nature. I've talked about a bird mentality, and how raspberries and igloos differ, to name a couple. Today, I shall investigate one aspect of a growing tree.

So how goes a tree grow? Well, in the horizontal direction, the core forms rings around previous ones each year (you can make out the rings because the growth is slower in the winter than in the summer). And in the vertical direction, the tree gorws upwards, shooting out branches at certain intervals. Both of these have metaphorical value with respect to the learning processes in your life.

The horizontal growth in rings represents the fact that the older a tree is, the more rings it has, and thus it's Young's modulus in the radial direction increases with every ring. (Young's modulus is an engineering term for a quality that's proportional to strength.) So, the longer you study a craft or a field, the stronger your abilities in that craft or field become.

The vertical growth and the extending branches symbolize different fields, different subjects of study. The earlier you begin learning something (first branches, nearest to the ground), the further you can get in that subject (the longer and bigger the brances grow). If you've just started studying a new subject, the lower your level expertise in that subject is - the newest branch at the top of the tree is always the smallest and weakest.

What this means in practice is that if you've been enthusiastic and learning about something since childhood, you're probably very good at it, and your chances of becoming the best in the world, should you so choose, are high. If you've just started a new project, the chances of success are lower - but you can still make it work if you work hard enough, aka create rings and thus thicken the branch.

So, all you need to do is work hard, either in the past (and)/or in the future.