Everything Is Like a Topiary

I was walking through a somewhat residential street in Bucaramanga, Colombia.

It must have been either before or after one of my numerous trips to the local dentist during that particular stay in the city.

And then there we were…

My compadres and I, standing on the street corner, waiting for the flow of yellow taxi cabs, motos, and classic renaults to slow so that we could cross.

As we waited, my eyes caught it. There across the street it stood, a masterpiece escaped from the gallery and planted firmly in the city to be enjoyed, or missed, by everyone.

The Topiary

I don’t think I had ever given much thought to topiaries.

In full disclosure, I still don’t.

But this one has inspired a thought:

Everything is like a topiary.

It begins as a seed.

It requires growth and nurture until it can sustain itself.

It grows where it is, being formed and reformed by its environment.

As a normal tree or shrub, it’s already successful and has overcome numerous odds by just being alive.

But, it is not a topiary — at least not yet.

Although, it’s been holding its potential hidden within itself all along.

It takes creativity, and often the help of others, to see what it could be other than just another tree.

The transformation into its future image requires a certain amount of organic growth and an equal, or even greater amount, of removing that growth — at least those parts that, though good, hide the essential image hidden within it.

It often takes help from other people to see what it could become and to help it get there.

Once realized, the topiary may be admired by some and laughed at by others.

But it is what it is.

And this one, for me, is a masterpiece.

Now that its a topiary, it takes regular maintenance to keep it what it is. If not, the topiary devolves back into something other than its potential.

We’ve just scratched the surface here…

Everything is like a topiary.


Hi, I’m Michael and this is my daily project where I write about diverse ideas.

This is Dose #59.

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