Monday Musings Part Nine: The Teaching of Trees

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The Teaching of Trees


Have you ever studied a tree? Ever thought about the fact that its underground roots mirror its sky-reaching canopy? Without digging deep beneath the mud and embracing the utter blackness, it could never thrive and soak up the sun or sway in the breeze.

The mighty Oak wasn’t always mighty; it didn’t start out that way. Today’s great tree is just the nut that fell and held its ground. Life is tenacious. Where there’s a way, there’s a will.

Young trees survive by making use of their vulnerability … they bend in even the fiercest of winds. Thin as they are, they’re flexible. They take what they have and use it to best advantage. Until, eventually, they grow into their full girth, and stand tall, broad, and strong.

In our modern and busy lives, we all too often live in our heads. We’re literally up in the clouds. Sooner or later, living this way, we’ll trip over our feet. While it’s good to look up and ahead, we also need to keep one eye on what’s right beneath us. On what’s right here, right now. Being grounded is essential to being able to reach for the sky.

Our search for happiness doesn’t have to take us away from our lives right now. It’s in the simple things of our lives that we find true contentment. Right here, buried in the dirt. Even on the cloudiest of days, we still have sunlight, and the blue sky is still there, it’s just obscured for the time being. And, just like the tree, we can still find succour and nourishment from all that surrounds us.Zen Stones for Monday Musings

The only way we can love another is to first love ourselves. The only way we can live in a happy and contented world is to first make that world for ourselves. The only way that tiny acorn can become the mighty Oak is to first let the mud and muck surround it, suck it under, and protect it. Beneath the earth, the acorn has a safe environment in which it can split apart, and only then does it begin to grow and transform.

Life is not easy. Neither is change. Especially not when that change is within us. Neither is it impossible; it’s a long way from that. The key is to keep ourselves grounded. But, how do we do that?

Quiet reflection at the end of each day can enrich the soil of your life and allow you to grow and reach for the sky. To sit and think, non-judgementally, about your day and your responses, actions, and reactions, is to see where you helped yourself and where you hindered. Remember, don’t judge it. Don’t put more dust on your mirror. Just look at the reflection. Notice what you like and what you don’t.

See the weeds that threaten your acorn and thin them out. Give your Oak the space it needs to grow.

In the wise words of Zen:

‘The Earth says much to those who listen.’

If you’ve missed my previous Monday Musings, you can find the links here: 🙂