Scott Carnahan
2 min readMay 5


Griffith Park, Los Angeles, California | Minolta Maxxum 7000 | Kodak Color Plus 200

The highest tree in Los Angeles.
The ‘Wisdom Tree’ is that bushy pinnacle
standing slightly higher than the Hollywood sign.
For years I’ve wanted to make the climb,
and for years I’ve done the 21-mile round trip hike
from Echo Park Lake to the top of the Hollywood sign —
but it wasn’t until 2021 that I went the extra mile to the ‘Wisdom Tree’.

Am I wiser? I’d like to hope so because wisdom is a tricky thing.
You may think you have it —
but as soon as you assume you do, it proves you don’t.
Wisdom is accepting that no one knows everything,
even the ‘Wisdom Tree’.
That tree has seen so much change and strife,
an endless river of life
passing along the freeways below.
Yet it’s humble —
something most Angelenos never notice.

Wisdom is patient;
wisdom comes from the darkness
and manifests through challenge.
The pain makes you who you are —
hard times aren’t to harm you;
it’s the rebirth that charms you.

Just ask the tree that has flourished above the smog
lingering above the concrete desert.
Keep growing, no matter where you’re planted.
Relish in every sunset and find gratitude —
rain or drought, keep going.

Listen to your heart, trust your gut, and learn to let go.
One day the universe will show you that it was all worth it.
There are no mistakes, only lessons.
Shine on through all your phases and carry the lessons;
growth is only up to you.

November 22, 2021



Scott Carnahan

Cameras by trade, writer by plight. A story obsessed thunderstorm junkie armed with a journal and fueled by music. | Los Angeles, CA ⛈🏜🏔✨