The tree struggles to stay rooted in the good Earth.
I love trees, and this tree is a favorite because it is so strong and doesn’t give up on what appears to be a hopeless situation, maybe the tree doesn’t know it’s hopeless.
What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man, / You cannot say, or guess, for you know only / A heap of broken images, where the sun beats, / And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief, / And the dry stone no sound of water. Only / There is shadow under this red rock, / (Come in under the shadow of this red rock), / And I will show you something different from either / Your shadow at morning striding behind you / Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you; / I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land: I. The Burial of the Dead, 1922
This photograph of a tree root was taken on the banks of the Rancocas river. Rancocas Creek is a tributary of the Delaware River in southwestern New Jersey in the United States. The creek’s main stem is 8.3 miles (13.4 km) long, with a North Branch of 28.3 miles (45.5 km) and a South Branch flowing 21.7 miles (34.9 km). The creek system drains a rural agricultural and forested area on the western edge of the Pinelands north and northeast of Camden and the New Jersey suburbs of Philadelphia.
Given that we see so little of a tree’s root system, maybe this tree is actually doing fine!