Lessons from a Tree

This tree is a block away from me. I pass it when I go on my lazy “just around the block” walks. In the summer, I didn’t notice it. Not until the leaves had all fallen and I could see the definitive skeletal remains. This tree has a message for us. This tree is a motivator.

Now, I do not know the story. I know as much as you do just by looking at it. It looks like its branches were cut down. Maybe due to disease? Or maybe the owner just didn’t like the tree. Whatever the reason, its once thick branches were not just trimmed but hacked down.

But the tree wanted to live.

It continued to grow and sprouted new branches. This tree is no quitter. Its story wasn’t finished yet so it continued to survive.

What a lesson for us!

We may feel like this tree at times. The unpredictable twists and turns of life may attempt to defeat us. At times, it may seem our soul has been stripped to its skeletal remains. We have nothing left to give. We have nothing left to offer. There may even come a point when we are tempted to surrender.

If that is the case, you remember this tree.

First of all, I didn’t pay any attention to the tree until winter when all the leaves were gone. Some people are pretty good at hiding the pain. They hide behind perceived successes. At some point though, we will all go through a winter. Have compassion for all. You never know what pain is being hidden from view.

Second, those new branches did not grow overnight. Whatever growth is coming for you it will take time to notice. But if you are alive, you are still growing. That includes your soul. Just give it time.

Third, it may have – and I presume it was – necessary to do this to the tree. It was not an evil plot. If the owner truly intended to kill the tree he or she would have cut it all the way down. Since only the branches were cut, I’m going to assume it was done to save the tree from an ultimate demise. Some things we go through may be painful. But in the end they may help us become the best possible version of ourselves. Don’t discount those difficult and painful times, they are helping shape your life.

There are probably other lessons that could be learned from this tree. I’m sure you can come up with some of your own. Maybe even better lessons. I think the overall lesson when I look at this picture is: don’t you dare give up. You keep going. You are not done yet.

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