It’s a kapok tree (Ceiba pentandra). And as a naturalist, knowing what kind of tree it is matters to me.
But this tree.., this tree grabbed me by the heart first. I wanted to ask it questions, and I did, but not questions about its species identity or its physical characteristics.
What do you see from where you stand, dear tree? How did you get so tall–so much taller than all those companions clustered around your trunk and mingling with your roots? What can you teach us about finding your niche in the universe and living to your fullest potential?
The tree will answer, but those answers will trickle in over time… assuming I’m listening. But one answer I already know from my own life: The strength of that tree standing so tall lies in its ability to bend with hurricane winds.