Bamboo is the fastest growing biomass on the planet! Maybe…. but not so fast….

Bamboo does not flower often. It could take a human lifetime of 65 to 120 years, for them to even flower at all. In order to guarantee survival, bamboo miraculously bloom spontaneously (called gregarious flowering). By flowering all at once, even 100 miles apart, they overwhelm predators with such an abundance of seeds at one time that the odds are favorable for some to sprout and survive.

The Chinese Bamboo Tree requires the perfect conditions of water, fertile soil, and sunshine to grow at all. In the first year of a seed’s planting, we see no visible signs of activity. In the second year, again, no growth above the soil. The third, the fourth, still nothing. Our patience is being tested. You may begin to give up, as you wonder if your efforts of caring for the seeds are in vein.

Finally in the fifth year – behold, a miracle! We experience growth. And what exponential growth it is! The Chinese Bamboo Tree grows 80 feet in just six weeks! This growth spurt can be 36 inches (91cm) in just 24-hours. You can almost watch it grow, at speeds of up to 1.6 inches per hour.

How could this happen, does the Chinese Bamboo Tree really grow 80 feet in six weeks? Did the Chinese Bamboo Tree lie dormant for four years only to grow exponentially in the fifth? Or, was the little tree growing underground, developing a resilient root system, strong enough to support weight and its potential for outward growth in the fifth year and beyond?

The answer is, of course, obvious. Had the tree not developed a strong unseen foundation it could not have sustained its life as it grew. The same principle is true for people.

Shortcuts in life are just an illusion. There is no mystical elevator that takes one up to the tower of success. The journey to enlightened happiness is a long twisting spiraling staircase; a culmination of life’s lessons, ups and downs.

Many that have reached the pinnacle of their life’s goals, felt that the journey was a bit anticlimactic once achieved. Looking back, they realized that they were focused far too intently on reaching the top, they missed the best views and the enriching experiences. That the true happiness and growth occurred during the climb itself and not on summit.

In 2018, faithfully tend to the good seeds you have planted and avoid the temptation of fast growing weeds. Remember to climb your mountain so you can experience and see the world, not so the world can see you.