The Resilience of Trees

maple_tree_green_680881_l.jpgAll the rain we’ve been having reminds us that we are, indeed, in the midst of spring.  And the bounty of greenery, in all its shades and hues, contrasts nicely, magically against the gray skies.  I had wondered what this spring would look like after the tragic ice storm left many of the trees amputees.  I admit my shallow underestimation of nature.

Yes, you can see some of the splintered edges or the awkward, haphazard trimmings.  But the trees continue to stand as tall as they can and put forth new growth with as much determination as ever.  Where the trees were trimmed carefully, with attention, you would hardly notice anything amiss, save for the less dense canopy.  The new growth is amazing.

I might say, “Wouldn’t it be nice to be a tree, where all we had to do is grow, go through the seasons, letting go and growing when it’s our determined time.”  But that’s not all a tree does.  No two trees are exactly alike.  No breeze blows without ruffling each leaf in its own way.  Every natural event leaves its mark upon a tree’s trunk, but the tree is ever adapting.  Maybe I should say, “Oh, to have the wisdom of a tree.”

When I was a little girl, I remember going into the woods beyond the pasture of my grandparents farm.  I found a young maple that I sat beside and talked to at length, looking up into its branches, certain that the leaves blowing in the wind were responding just to me.  I promised to be this tree’s friend.  I found a large-ish rock and put it beside the base, so I would be sure to remember which tree I had chosen.

Time passed, though, and when I returned, I wasn’t sure which tree was which. There were rocks all around.  I felt bad.  I had defaulted on a friendship, and I was sure that this tree would certainly remember who I was, was probably watching me circle around and around, aching that I couldn’t hear and feel.

Maybe I had read The Giving Tree too many times.  Maybe I was personifying the tree too much.  But I don’t think so.  Even now, when I need to be grounded, I see myself as a tree.  When I need to disperse extra energy or receive it, I can exchange with the trees.  I’ve not forgotten the relationship one can have with the trees, and I have a special place in my heart for maples.

The trees are beautiful and have much to teach us.

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