I own an old Victorian house, which is outfitted with glorious original heart pine floors over 119 years old…and ironically, those floors are somewhat the cause of some of my life stresses these days. But I digress…
At any rate, while I have always admired the heart pine floors, I never took the time to research heart pine – how’s it formed, it’s benefits, it's traits. I knew it was rare, now a days, and highly desirable…but I didn’t know the why. A quick google search revealed this tidbit…
"Long-leaf pines are commonly 80 to 150 feet tall and up to four feet in diameter. Once its seed has germinated, it will grow to less than an inch tall during its first 10 years, basically looking like a blade of grass. At this stage, all of its energy is focused on developing a strong and deep root system. If it makes it past that stage, it can continue to grow up to 175 feet tall. It takes 100 to 150 years to reach full maturity and can live up to 500 years. Needless to say, its strength comes from its relatively slow growth."
"When long-leaf pines finally mature, they form a large hard wood at their center with a ring pattern and an amber color. This hard wood at the center is what is referred to as the heart pine. Every inch of the heart pine requires 30 years to grow. Heart pine is the finest lumber in existence because of its strength, beauty and durability aside from its being dense, hard, heavy, and rot and insect resistant. Today, only 5% of a forest that once ran 150 miles wide from Virginia to Florida remains intact."
I am not sure if this is what my husband meant when he said the words, “When in doubt, look at the heart pine.”, but this is what I take from the comment...
Maturing is hard work. It takes time and is a struggle. Everything is against you in the beginning. Much effort and energy must be made to develop a strong foundation…something to tie you to your purpose. To ground you. To prevent you from abandoning your cause at the first stiff wind, at the first rise of a storm. While it looks like not much it is happening, a lot is changing and only those that understand the process, and understand you, see the change. It's tempting to take great efforts to appear big and impressive with a showy display, but that cannot be maintained if you do not first cultivate your roots.
Slowly, over time…it happens. Sure, there are setbacks, but those that persist can flourish…Transforming from something insignificant and common into something spectacular and exceptional. Everyone can, but not all will. Growth is slow and tedious, sometimes maddeningly so and ever fraught with hindrances to overcome. Only a few are strong enough to reach their potential. Maturity is not easy, and because of that, most never achieve it. They are doomed to forever blow like seeds in the wind. Unanchored and lost.
But for some, those that find their patience and become weathered and wise…for those that endure, for those that run their roots deep and keep reaching for ever higher achievements, despite the pressures upon them...Those, they become some of the finest in existence, due to their strength, beauty and durability and their resistance to negative things.
“When in doubt, look at the heart pine.”
Thanks, babe. I needed that.