When a tree is under stress due to insects, bacteria, storm damage or a virus, the tree will protect itself by forming a burl. Some folks see burl trees as different and believe they are deformed, repulsive, ugly and wart-like. But if you took the time to explore what is inside the burl you would find wood that is highly prized by today's woodworkers. Each burl is totally unique, composed of small knots, a variety of colors, patterns and wood grains. Is the Earth Mother providing us a lesson here? Remember that old saying "you can't judge a book by it's cover"? If we are mindful and courageous enough to take the time to discover and explore what is on the inside of all the "different" people in our lives, maybe we just might discover an incredible and unique beauty in each one of them. I believe it's worth a try.