To Be a Tree


What would it be like to live as a tree? Grounded in one place and growing over many, many seasons—aging into infinite wisdom. How would we see the world if we lived as one of them?

We grow where we chance upon the earth. How we end up here, we don’t know. Would it matter if we knew how, or why, or by who? If we could watch the world pass us by from the sleepy comforts of our seeds?

By the time we open our senses to our surroundings, all we know is the earth upon which we grow. Our roots will never stop questing outwards, but we do not wonder what life is like on the other side of the path.

Just as our roots constantly reach outward, our leaves and branches are forever reaching for the sun. It does not matter if it rains, if it snows, or if the sun leaves us washed in gray for days. Even if we cannot see the light, we can sense the warmth. We know it will return, and wait patiently for it with open arms.

Many of us grow straight and sure, but some of us explore all directions as we mature. Both lifestyles have their merits and, of course, some challenges. We take the challenges as they come and embrace the merits for what they are. We accept it all as it is. There is a reason that we grow the way we do, so we do not stare enviously at our neighbor and seek to emulate her.

But don’t think that we ignore our neighbors. Quite the contrary! We welcome neighbors of all types. We do not choose our home and neither do they (or, most of them don’t). So we make our peace with them. Delicate flowers, sturdy shrubs, dewy grasses, and others just like us—we graciously share our bounty with them if they are willing to share in return. We grow and learn more about each other.

That is the truth of our knowledge and wisdom.

As for the visitors, the ones that sing and the ones that scurry through our leaves, we invite them into our homes. For how dull would life be without their company?

Of course, we’re not without our moments of glorification and vanity. Every year, we celebrate another cycle of our lives with seeds, flowers, and fruit. Our proud displays give us just one more reason to look forward to the next year.

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