Dead Wood

A tree cannot shed its own branches, even when needed.

Many trees can dispose of their leaves once a year, the thick, crisp carpet of orange decaying under the snow, their nutrients feeding the forest.

But as overweight or dead and rotten as they may be, a tree can never shed its branches without the help of a storm.

The day after the storm, we walk past the severed limbs of the forest — huge fingers of warped lumber curling up from the forest floor.

The carnage seems unnatural but it is not.

These branches were in excess. Or they were weak. Or rotten.

Maybe a bit unlucky.

Is the tree sad to lose its branches?


But all the forest will be happier and healthier for it.

And after a few months, so will the tree.

The economy works in a similar way.

If the trees are the institutions.

Then a recession is the storm.

And it’s never been wise to stand in nature’s way, no matter how many branches we might want to save.