The above image was shared on social media, and it absolutely floored me. Part of that is because we don’t get trees like this in the part of the world in which I grew up. So I’m always impressed when I see one of these Jurassic-sized pieces of nature exploding into the sky. But this? Just wow.

It’s always remarkable when nature and art collide in this way, but there’s something really powerful to see this kind of thing: a tree was felled by lightning, and the brokenness exposed this column of wood. A person came, saw in it something of themselves, and they carved a little synechdoche — a part of a person to stand in for the whole of ourselves that reaches up and our, tree-like, into the world, into the universe.