The knotty pine has been known as trash to foresters for a long time. That’s why they have worked long hours eliminating branches from trees to ensure a clear, even-grained wood, with no blemishes to be found as the final product. In a stand of pines, lower branches die because of the lack of sunlight. When those branches break off, or are removed through silvicultural practices, the new growth first heals the scar and then creates clear timber around the circumference of the bole of the tree. It’s the branches causing the knots. Old-growth pine, prized in the wood-working industry, grows fat, straight and clear for forty to sixty feet before the first branch. Worthless timber with too many knots is processed at sawmills to create perfect, clear lengths of wood, albeit shorter ones.

It wasn’t until someone determined we were wasting good wood. The knotty pine craze hit sometime in the early 60s. And a whole new segment of the market opened and knotty pined showed up in kitchen cabinets, den walls, and recreational rooms. All of a sudden, the worthless scrap had value.

As humans, we also have the propensity to look for perfection according to someone else’s standards. Just like us, centuries of wood production threw away tons of wood that didn’t meet exceptions until someone saw value in those scraps. Turns out those scraps continue to demand a significant portion of the market’s interest.    (-Modified from Warren Johnson)

Beauty is often the same. We aren’t lacking beauty in the world, instead we fail to see it. We miss it in the simple moments before the sunrises, we miss it in the people around us, we miss it everyday. We miss it because we busy ourselves. We miss it because we don’t expect it in the unexpected places. And we miss it because we don’t know where to look. We need others to point it out when our eyes are blind. We need them to tell us of it’s value. We need to experience it, feel it, and live it out.



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