When I was ten years old, my father and I had a fascinating conversation about God. He talked about how the All Powerful, Ever Loving, Ever Giving God made Man in His image. My young enthusiastic mind, fresh from learning about, what seemed like the magical process of Photosynthesis, carefully pondered on this. Then I turned to my father and said “Dad… if God is Ever Loving, Ever Giving and Omnipresent, and made something in His image, I would think it’ll be trees and not humans.”
He stared at me quietly for a while and asked why I would think that.
I replied that trees are the most unconditionally giving (food, shelter, etc), non violent, selfless presence we have in the world – unlike humans. So surely they best reflect God in his image.
This conversation had been forgotten for a while. However, as of late, the topic has resurrected itself in my mind. It’s just made me appreciate again, the nobility and the majesty of trees, and how there is so much that we can all learn from their wisdom.
- The roots of trees ground as deep into the Earth as the branches reach towards the sky. Only with solid foundation that the roots provide, hidden from sight, can the bountiful leaves and branches soar. The same is true in everything that we are and that we do. When we have a solid foundation, and grounded within ‘I AM’, the core of who we are, only then can we rise with strength and stability towards the stars.
- Trees and plants absorb elements of the Earth – Sun, Water, Minerals of the Earth and Carbon Dioxide, and produce not only life affirming Oxygen, but the most amazing array of nourishment for the physical bodies of all animals, including Man, in the most varied of ways. The fruits and vegetables, herbs and fungus, plankton and algae provide not only fuel to live with, but have incredible natural medicinal properties if they are consumed with awareness. It takes experts years to study and understand all the properties of the plants and trees, and we still have barely scratched the surface of these nutrient rich, unselfish Beings that just continue to nourish our air and our bodies, unconditionally. Whilst it is challenging for us Be nourishing as food or for Oxygen, we can quite easily nourish minds, emotions and sometimes even a physical body through a hug or a comforting touch. When we are grounded in ‘I AM’ and exude the resonance of the Divine in everything that we are, then everything that we do is in itself nourishment for all around us.
- The very Being of trees and plants provide shelter from the Elements. If it’s too hot, it’s nice to stand under the cool shade of the trees. Or when it rains, to seek shelter under a tree. And the trees unselfishly provide this. Something we can all learn and aspire to emulate in our daily lives. We can give shelter through our words, our deeds, or emotions, support. Embodying ‘I AM’, we can choose to be as unselfish as the trees. How amazingly helpful would we be in doing so? How much comfort could we give?
- Studies have shown that within communities of trees, should one tree be ill, or weak, or is in need to extra care and comfort, all the other trees pitch in to keep that ill tree strong through an invisible network of root links, where they send nutrients and water to help keep that tree strong. We can then learn from these trees how to support one another in times of trouble and weakness, and yet at the same time empower them to grow and develop in strength, to keep contributing to the community.
- In natural death, a tree takes time to compost down into the most nutritious soil and compost, which enables the thriving growth of young saplings and juvenile trees – so they too can grow strong and continue the cycle of life. Another wonderful lesson for us to consider – what nourishment are we going to leave behind to nourish the young in our community, when we do pass into a different existence? How can they grow and thrive from our presence? Embodying the resonance of ‘I AM’ and nourishing the young is one of the most gratifying services we can perform in our lifetimes.
There is so much that happens within trees that we yet know of, or understand. However, they have so much to give in terms of wisdom, lessons and example of Being – if only we look.
‘I AM’ like a tree.