I am a literal student of nature, there is so much wisdom and truth to be gleaned about life and our universe from the natural world. One of my favorite studies in nature is trees. If trees could talk, the stories they could probably tell, the mysteries and truths they could give us. Some are so old that they have witnessed generations of families live under its branches. I can recall my grandmother telling me about an old slave tree. In a former home (an old shack in the woods of North Alabama) there was a big tree in my grandparent’s front yard. Sometimes my grandmother would sit on the porch and out of nowhere see what appeared to be the ghost of former slaves walking into and out of that tree. She wasn’t afraid and they didn’t seem to notice her.
In the old days people named their children after trees. One of the oldest women of my earliest childhood community was interestingly name Treeola, everyone called her Ms. Tree and I believe she was a former slave living to be over 107 years old. I have very faint memories of this woman and recall that she had a peaceful, quiet demeanor just like a tree. Everyone loved and respected Ms. Tree.
There are so many similar spiritual happenings involving trees which is why they are considered sacred by many people around the world.
Here in the U.S. is a very interesting tree named Pando. Located at Fish Lake in Utah this Trembling Giant is an estimated 80,000 year’s old, one of the oldest known living organisms. Pando is actually a colony of quaking aspen that have one massive underground root system. The picture of above is of Pando, a beautiful sight to behold. The picture below is a description of its root system. Although a colony of trees it is considered one single living organism. It would have witnessed the rise and fall of ancient tribes, civilizations, catastrophic natural disasters, battles between Native Americans and the new settlers but also the civil war, the birth of the U.S. as a nation and the rise of modern North Americans.
Some of the wisdom I’ve gleaned from trees are as follows:
Trees teach us humans to be patient. We can’t be reactionary living from crisis to crisis. Trees have peace because they know that the laws of the universe will eventually work everything out. They don’t run from the fire that threatens the forest because they know that through their seedlings they will be reborn through the new fertile soil. We can’t run from problems because through these experiences we will be made stronger and wiser.
Trees know who they are and why they are placed on this earth. You will never find an apple tree trying to be an orange tree. We as individuals have to gain knowledge of self, find out who we truly are in this world and our purpose for being here. Out of all the life forms on this earth its humans who have the most difficulty figuring out who we are as individuals.
Tree roots run deep and strong. It’s hard to uproot a tree and if you leave bits of root behind another tree will sprout. We have to be like the trees and make sure we have a good sound foundation in life. Like Pando, our foundation in life can nurture many generations after us. Our foundation is what we have to stand on and grow from.
One of my greatest complements was from a former boss. After a very trying situation on the job he told me, you are like a mighty Oak, no matter how fierce the wind blows you never break, you just bend with the wind. In life we have to be able to weather the good and bad just like the trees. They carry the heavy snow on their branches during the winter, experience the decay of their leaves in the autumn, blossom in the spring, open up and absorb the beautiful warm sunshine during the summer. No matter what life throws our way we have to stand tall just like the trees. When it’s bad times be strong and when things are good for us, enjoy!
Trees spend all of their life trying to reach the light. In life we should always be striving for higher levels of accomplishments, understanding, knowledge, development and growth. Just like the trees we have to keep reaching upwards.
A majority of trees have been on this earth much longer than you and I. Spiritually, they would be considered our elders and because of this we should treat them with care. Unfortunately, Pando is dying and I can’t help but think that it’s due to man’s disregard for nature.
I hope you enjoyed my little tribute to trees. Next time you are feeling stressed out go and sit in the park amongst the trees and watch how the peaceful spirit of trees calm your soul. See what wisdom and truths you can glean from trees.