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The wisdom of the tree


When I was a kid Aunty Joan taught us how to hug a tree. I remember being surprised by the coolness; the smoothness of thin, white bark against my cheek, and also the great girth of the tree, which my little arms could barely begin to wrap their arms around. Aunty Joan talked about the energy of the tree, and the way it enlivened her body when she got close and allowed herself to rest against it; let the tree hold the full weight of her body.

 

I think now of the humble patience of a tree, the way it decides that this is the place to be, and sinks its roots into the ground and draws up the goodness of the earth. Seeks out the water that rushes and trickles beneath our feet, invisible but deeply present, and draws it all up into its trunk – into its being – and lets it nourish the tips of its leaves.

 

I have been thinking of these trees a lot lately, as I am tempted to rush around justifying my existence, trying to be a ‘good’ Christian and a ‘good’ minister. I wonder if you can relate. Do you ever feel not good enough?

 

If you ever feel that way, maybe you too can take Aunty Joan’s advice, and hug a tree. As you do, be open to the wisdom of the one who knows how to stand in the fullness of its being. Be like the tree, reaching deeply into the earth and offering the world only and exactly what it truly deeply is.


Words by Rev Andreana

Image by Matthew Paul Argall, Flickr (Creative Commons licence)

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