All throughout my childhood, I have loved trees. To climb a tree and sit on a welcoming limb with a fantastic book was the highlight of my day. I marveled at their strong trunks, width of girth, various bark textures, how they changed dressings for every season, how they would regrow and regenerate new parts…The list goes on and on.
My love for trees has deep roots, and this love unveiled some invaluable life lessons that trees, in turn, have afforded me to learn.
Trees are self-less givers.
They remind us that giving is the ultimate form of service. Trees provide us with firewood for warmth…firewood for cooking…leaves that gives us oxygen…fruit that we eat…nuts that we love to snack on…wood for boats and canoes…wood for retro salad bowls and utensils…wood for fences…wood for lumber to build homes…wood pulp to make paper…wood for earrings…wood for art and picture frames…Trees always willingly sit in the giver’s seat without one complaint. Do we have the giving heart of trees?
Trees know how to drop things that no longer matter and things that are dead.
Moving forward is always a tree’s focus. Anything that falls from a tree, is no longer needed for the tree to continue being a tree. Letting go is a yearly purging ritual that trees do with grace, color, and purpose. What do we need to purge our lives of?
Trees are always reaching for the sky, looking up.
The trunk of trees separate into limbs and branches. The limbs beget the branches, and the branches beget the leaves. All of which, reach high towards the sky, up towards the light. Trees constantly look up, rain or shine, its their habit. They constantly look at the bright side every day. Have we forgotten to look up?
Trees instinctively regenerate and regrow.
After letting go of the old, trees have an internal sense to know when it is time to grow again. Trees are always regrowing, reshaping, and re-shifting. Trees embrace change and always welcomes the new. Do we embrace change and growth with open arms?
Trees understand that their roots are their lifelines.
Roots of trees are bigger and stronger than what is seen on the surface. On average, trees grow roots that are typically twice the size of their crown foliage, which means, their root system is far grander and larger than what we get to see above ground. Tree roots provide life for the tree by absorbing water, minerals, and nutrients from the soil to feed the tree daily. The roots also save a reservoir supply of water and food for the tree during droughts and hard times. Just like trees, we have roots. Our ancestors, values, morals, and faith are our internal roots that supply us with what we need. When we have deep roots, we always have a reservoir to draw from to strengthen us and keep us grounded. Have you explored and nourished your roots?
Trees practice daily patience, as they trust with complete confidence that their needs will be met.
Trees don’t argue or complain. They bloom and blossom where they are planted, ready to give because they simply trust that their needs will be taken care of. Trees are never anxious, worried, or stressed out. They exude a confident patience, never in a rush, because they know that everything will be alright. Where is our confidence in this?
These lessons are just a few of what I have learned from trees during my tree “apprenticeship”. Just the sheer fascination of their existence and personalities have captivated me. These effective mentor teachers are always teaching and always giving. I am sure there are more lessons that will be revealed to me as I continue my tree studies…
Published and Written By Treva McKissic, “CreativeCOILS”