The glory days of spring and summer have passed. The days are shorter, the nights are longer, the fires are warm and blankets are good. Snuggling occurs far more often. For all that, many people will tell you “spring” if you ask them what their favorite season is. They’ll cite the rebirth, the returning greenery, the warmer temperatures – so many “new” things. I far prefer fall to spring, mostly because I’m out a fan of pollen, but I also think there are a lot of valuable life’s lessons we can learn from the season.
Just recently I saw a meme about trees and it struck me as a lesson we should keep in mind. Realizing that, I latched onto trees and it amazed me how much we can learn from a life form that doesn’t communicate with us, but shows us how to live a positive life in so many ways.
“If you feel like you’re losing everything, remember that trees lose their leaves every year and they still stand tall and wait for better days to come.”
This was the meme I saw and it made me think about the times in my life where it seemed like absolutely everything that could go wrong was going wrong. Surely, after such a time, nothing would ever be the same again, right? No.. it would be better and stronger and even more beautiful.
The tree that “dies” in the fall hasn’t died at all and will grow and blossom come spring time. It will be taller, stronger, have more branches, more leaves, deeper roots and cast more shade. In the winter you might look at it and wonder if it is dead, but if you cut it down you’ll see the rings of its life and realize how many years it withstood. Depending on where you cut it, you might see scars or indications of challenges where it was damaged but overcame the challenge and grew anyway. Remember that tree was dormant for several months in each of those years. It lost everything and recovered stronger every year. Surely, we can do that when such events occur a few times in our life, right? What can we learn from that and what other lessons might a tree offer?
Advice from a tree:
If we can remember these lessons to be learned from every tree, our lives will surely improve along with our outlook.
Stand tall and proud. Trees never worry if they are uglier or prettier, taller or shorter than other trees. They simply are. They grow toward the sun and stand as strong as they can, living their purpose without internal interruption.
Go out on a limb. The tree continually grows new branches, each of them growing through the years… longer and thicker and each supporting even more branches. Sometimes the weight of the branches can be a challenge to the strength of the wood, but the tree doesn’t stop growing. It unknowingly takes the risk and continues to grow. We would do well to learn from that and continue growing, unafraid of risk and focused on becoming bigger than we are (figuratively speaking).
Remember your roots. Shallow roots don’t make for a strong tree. The roots grow and spread proportionately to the growth of the tree we see. The blue spruce tree has a root that grows as deep into the ground as the trunk grows toward the sky. Its support structure is literally as strong and deep as the tree beauty we see above ground. All too often we humans focus on our appearance and looking successful or feeling good, but building such on shallow or precarious support. Never neglect the support structure you depend on. It’s often beneficial to have the support be even stronger than the person others see.
Drink plenty of water. Yes, we all hear this on a daily basis. Our doctors tell us this. Our parents tell us this. Anyone who has ever had a kidney stone will surely tell you this. Drink enough water to be healthy. Don’t drink so much as to drown or bring imbalance to your system. Most trees can be overwatered and drown – but only if their support system can’t sustain the water intake. There are wise lessons to be learned there from multiple perspectives.
Be content with your natural beauty. The tree never worries about how tall it is, or what wide it is, or how many branches it has or if it flowers at all. It simply is. The lesson we need to learn is to just be who we are and to live our lives as such. Don’t compare yourself to others. None of them is you. None of them can be a better you. You can’t be a better them. Only you can be the best you. Just be… and live… and be thankful to grow each day.
Enjoy the view. As children, most of us climbed a tree and looked around, appreciating what we could see from being higher up. Can you imagine… if a tree could see from it’s highest limb or leaf, what the view might be? Surely the tree could see some wondrous things, right? You are whatever height you are. Some of us are taller; some of us not so much. Take a few minutes to look around and enjoy the view at whatever height you are. And you know what? No matter your age, provided you can do it with relative safety, climb a tree and take a look around. You’re never too old to enjoy the view.