Thursday, April 7, 2011

You Can Learn A Lot From a Tree

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
-- Joyce Kilmer

The other day I was riding past a stream and happened to notice the trees lining the water. You could see the exposed roots and the way they hugged the ground. The tree was very tall and I wondered about its stability with such a fragile-looking base as there didn’t seem to be a lot holding it to the shore. Trees seem so tenacious in their ability to grab the ground and grow anywhere. It is that kind of press-on-regardless attitude that I admire about trees.

If you think about it, there are some other qualities about trees that can teach one about life:
  • Trees are simple. They don’t need much except air, water, and a little nourishment.
  • Trees care for others sometimes at the risk of their own existence. Many animals can live in a tree and it doesn’t seem to bother it.
  • Trees don’t let the bad elements bother them. Their bark is rough and protective.
  • Trees are flexible. They sway with the wind yet stay standing.
  • Trees are adaptable yet dependable. They may drop their leaves in the winter, but come back every spring.
  • Trees are good housekeepers. They clean the air and keep it fresh for others.

Maybe that's how the term Tree of Life came about.

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