Tree Wisdom, and St. John Green
May we be courageous enough to listen,
Dignity flows through life, it's preciousness and value are inherent. Human beings have become so disconnected with this basic principle of life that we are in dire need of a reminder. We have the capacity to connect with the cosmic breath that is breathing us all, but fear the implications. We helplessly cling to those external wrappings that seek to replace the value we have denied to ourselves. From lack of self-worth we cause each other pain and deny ourselves the grief that comes with being deprived of belonging, acceptance, and feeling connected and valued in the world around us. But despite the horrors we have created, for both humans and all other forms of life, we are still here belonging to this world, together. There is nothing that we could do that would ever break the bonds that tie our individual life to the whole of life itself. It is not too late to listen to the wisdom of life that speaks through everything that exists.
If trees could speak to us in a way we could deeply understand them, what would they tell us? Would they question us and ask us to explain our rampant destructive appetite? Would they offer us a perspective from which to free ourselves of the cycles that keep us bound in separateness? Would we be humble enough to heed their wisdom?
When we hear the breeze swaying the trunks and branches of trees, maybe we would hear them speak to us in a gentle and kind whisper. Perhaps it would sound like this:
Slow down and look around you more.
There are billions of years of history above and below you, no matter where you are standing.
There is a vast underground network of connections keeping the planet a nutrient-rich environment for an uncountable number of life-forms; humans are just one form of life.
The pace at which nature moves all things is at work within you, and it is not something to do, gain, or seek out.
Energy and attention are precious but can never be hoarded like leaves forming buds, sprouting, and eventually falling away.
Responding from where you are deeply rooted to what sustains your life means you can weather great gales, broken limbs, and even if you are struck by lightning and burned to a stump your neighbors will give you some of their life if you remain in connection with them.
You can compete if you want to, but you cannot deprive anyone of resources, of those basics that make life possible, because we all need the same things to live and we cannot thrive without each other.
Grow as much as you can with what is available to you, and respond to how things continue to change.
Your fruits are meant to be given away; give without expectation of any return.
Trust that the ground, and all that inhabit it, will support you, will nourish you, and that you belong exactly where you are.
The moment to reclaim our wisdom and settle into the silent wisdom that permeates our every cell is always now. No matter what we have done, where came from, what possessions or relationships we have or do not have, the capacity for us to act as a vehicle for wisdom, compassion, and peace in the world is always available to us. May we have the courage to live in the Spirit of Now (St. John Green).