Monday, March 14, 2011

You Can Learn A Lot From a Tree

I spend quite a bit of my walking time observing trees as I navigate the forest, and I have come to realize I am learning a great deal from them. I feel fortunate trees are my teachers. Trees have personalities.

Trees make the most of things. They react to their environment accordingly; they deal with their plight with ease. They lead a relatively balanced life based on the elements they receive from nature: sun, water, soil, wind, surrounding flora and fauna. If a tree receives more or less of something, it makes do.
Trees are supportive of one another.

Trees have developed a symbiotic relationship with each other; if one gets blown over, another will hold it between its heavy branches. If one gets lopped off at the top, another seems content to spread out its canopy and protect it. A sick tree will readily succumb to its providence thus producing food and shelter for the creatures of the forest; a weak tree will tip over creating humus for the forest floor, preparing fertile ground for another tree to plant itself.

Different types of trees cohabitate side by side without any issue at all.  Some trees in the forest are thin, others thick, there are spritely young trees and stout old trees, some show weakness, others remain strong. Trees have a variety of textures, some are smooth, others coarse. Trees appear in a range of color: brown, red, gray, evergreen, white. Trees do not discriminate against one another. Trees exist quite peacefully within a multi-species community.

A tree can be: graceful, flexible, soft, yielding, asymmetric, curved, and bent. I imagine myself to be a tree, I am all of these things; the beauty of the tree is reflected back to me.
A tree is a mirror image of itself really: its roots plant, sprawl, connect and tap into Mother Earth, receiving Her primordial intelligence.
Its branches sprout, grow, intertwine and reach toward Father Sky, possessing His spiritual aptitude. A tree’s trunk is a conduit; it is the transducer of earthly knowledge and heavenly essence which is contained deep in its core.

A tree can be: giant, knotty, hard, bumpy, twisted and gnarly. Who hasn’t come across an ancient, massive tree with several branches missing from unavoidable circumstances, a hole in its center containing something mysterious, and felt its wisdom go straight to your heart? Trees have hearts. Sometimes they provide for us portals to their hearts that when we look into them, mirror back our own hearts.

Trees reach new heights, dance in the wind, lean on one another, crack open, break apart; sometimes trees fall. They can live with these conditions; they accept their destiny nobly.

You can learn a lot from a tree.