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It’s okay to start small


The oak tree was in the middle of a strip of grass between two parking lots. There were thirty stalls on each side. Four rows of cars in the sun, divided by a strip of green, and a tree. It was five forty-five in the evening when I saw the tree. The shadow was big enough for a mouse or maybe a guinea pig.

The oak tree had five branches, and seven leaves on each branch. Five times seven is thirty-five. So the tree had thirty-five leaves.  A mature oak tree can have as many as two hundred thousand leaves.  I didn’t have my tape measure with me, so I stood next to the tree. The tree was as high as the bottom of the back pocket on my jeans. A mature oak tree can be over one hundred feet tall. A tree one hundred feet tall would be the same as 33.3333333333 pairs of jeans.

One day the oak tree  will provide shade  for all of the cars that will park between the orange lines.

It is okay to start small.

Just start.

I have projects I have not started. Dreams that have remained in the filing cabinet. Blank paper with no words. Paint still in the tubes. Words still in the dictionary. White canvas waiting for color.

The oak tree had only five branches. It was growing as I walked past.  Its roots were planted in the soil gathering water and food. The leaves were digesting the sunlight as I walked past. The tree had started. It was starting small.

Today I placed words on paper and paint on  canvas.

Today I started.

Is there something  you are waiting to start?  What dream have you put on hold because you are waiting to start big?





About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

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  • pamelahodges

    Dreams in your pocket. I am happy that you are working on them. I would love to know what they are. Maybe one of them will become an oak tree.

  • I have a few dreams in my pocket that I’ve put on hold, but I’ve decided to start working on them more actively this year. Also, I’m always amazed that a tiny acorn can become a tall and mighty oak tree. That always gives me hope! 🙂

  • Always so many things I want to be starting. I had this same realization not long ago, and it really helped me get out of my way a little and get to work.

    I love that you give us such an exact description of the oak tree, love that you took the time to measure it, love that you are a person who takes time.

    • pamelahodges

      I like that, ” it really helped me get out of my way”. I am the one in control of what I do. I can not blame others.
      Thank you for taking the time to tell me you loved the oak tree description. I want to stop and notice more.