Monday, October 11, 2010

Sometimes It Takes a Tree

I don’t deliberately look for metaphors but sometimes one is directly in front of me and hard to ignore. In walking through a local wooded area, I came across a large, fallen tree. The trunk was rotted out, the roots were almost non-existent, and the branches were bare. It was obvious that it had been a tall tree full of leafy expression and expansive presence at one time. I don’t know how long it had been on its side or what caused its demise but I could still feel its energy and power. It had a place in the woods among the other trees yet it was also an individual that added something to the whole.

It’s easy to think of age as the only reason for a fallen tree; perhaps that is the most acceptable though health and circumstance often play roles in a tree’s downfall. However, its death does nothing to diminish what it had been. For a while it will be there physically for people to see and critters to use for their various purposes but one day it will be gone, its traces hidden by newer trees and plants until its being is barely a memory. But that doesn’t mean its life was worthless. It had provided much to the environment and whether or not it is remembered it will have left a lasting imprint on this earth.

And so, looking at this incredible life form, how could I not be affected? How, also, could I miss how alike all of nature is, including our own often exalted status as people? Sometimes it takes a tree to help us feel the value of being truly human.


  1. Beautiful, Ferida! This is another profound insight, and just what I needed to hear this morning. Thanks again for your blog. (And my daughter loved hearing me read it to her as well.)

  2. I'm so glad that this resounded for you (and your daughter). I have been getting lots of emails about this post. It seems to have touched many people.