Surely you’ve noticed the beautiful fallen leaves of Thanksgiving time. But have you noticed the trees that have shed them?
Sometimes I just can’t help myself from noticing the often-unnoticeable objects in everyday life, and when I do, I usually find myself wondering how the nature and characteristics of that object’s life could relate to mine. Strange, I know, but then again--I live in New York, and--when there are so many other things around me screaming for my attention, I’m apt to give mine to those that aren’t. And so I noticed a tree today…
It seemed to be quite a tall, strong and well-structured tree, flourishing with beautiful, big colorful leaves. From the base of the trunk it was obvious that the tree was very well rooted, and even when a relatively strong wind blew its way only a few of the outer branches and leaves softly swayed with it. I was quite sure that, short of a severe hurricane, nothing could uproot that tree. In fact, for a minute I felt I could really relate to that tree. I really do find that the more rooted we are in ourselves, and in whichever value system we adhere to, the less likely we are to be shaken by challenging events occurring in our lives. (The gales, hurricanes, and tornadoes which try to set us off our course.)
Having a value system would probably equal the tree’s strong roots, but even that alone would not be enough. The tall, strong trunk could be paralleled with the need for self–confidence, for without it, what good is a value system (roots) if you don’t have the strength to stand up for it – for that which you base yourself upon? Both the trunk and the roots of the tree are mutually beneficial to each other’s survival, just as our self-confidence and value systems are.
And then I thought, what if a really strong wind or storm did actually uproot that strong tree, what then? Could that same tree find life again? Certainly not if it were left astray after being uprooted, but (assuming the damage was not terminal,) that same tree could regain its vitality after being replanted and reconnected with its source, where it would once again be able to live, flourish, and grow. In short, it is the roots that matter most as they allow you not merely to stand for something, but to stand, period.
In life, many people, circumstances, and challenges will come and try to sway you in a direction other than the one you feel most comfortable taking. Who you are, what you base yourself upon, and how you hold yourself will all determine how you react… Do you want to be a leaf that will likely be swept up and carried off with whichever way the wind decides to carry it, always being unsure of your destination – not to mention most likely forgetting where you’ve come from? Or, would you rather be a strong, sturdy tree, proudly rising tall and knowing where you stand? When the wind blows, you acknowledge its breeze with a gentle sway of your branches but continue to stand your ground; when the sun shines, you welcome the warmth and respite it provides; and when the rain begins to patter on your leaves, you accept the soak and, through the temporary discomfort, still recognize the blessing that it brings.
Believe in something,
Hold your ground,
bE a TrEe