Not only does the tree live by the adage "Do No Harm" but every moment of its being a tree is conducting life in a productive, nurturing and creative manner.
The tree takes carbon dioxide into its leaves and through photosynthesis produces oxygen which benefits us all, fresh air for all breathing creatures.
The roots of the tree disperse through the earth, aerating the soil, preventing the ground from compacting. Have you ever tried to dig a hole in compacted earth? Imagine a delicate seedling trying to break through, or a little earthworm bumping its little noggan on the hard mass of compacted earth.
The profusion of branches and leaves across the sky provides shade, a little haven of respite on a hot day. Those branches are also nooks and crannies for birds to nest, squirrels to hide their stash of winter stores.
When the leaves drop in the winter, they cover the ground, providing a blanket As the leaves decay the process warms the soil and protect the bulbs and corms and sleeping plants. Nitrogen is produced, to feed the roots and plants.
There is never a time, in its natural state, when a tree is not being creative. It is constantly growing, bud, leaves, branches expanding it's horizons. Even in the state of dormancy the tree is creating miles and miles of roots underground.
While a tree does not protect itself by attacking its enemies, it does not stand idly by and let it's enemies attack it. Tree's produce bark to protect it's tender wood from infestation, from scorching in the sun's heat and from exposure to the elements. Some trees create their own chemicals, oils or gas that thwarts intruders.
Is it any wonder the bible uses a "tree" to hold the forbidden fruit even though fruit grows on so many other plant types.
Is winter a tree's sabbath? Does it "keep holy the sabbath" by its resting? What does a tree "DO" in the resting?
Every part of the tree above the ground is idle, it grows no leaves, no branches during dormancy. But underground, ah, underground the root system is expanding, big roots, tiny capillary roots, all are growing, preparing the foundation for the next season's growth. Is there a message in the tree for us. Is our day of rest merely a day to attend religious services or a period for a tranquil, openness of soul? A day to while-away or the opportunity to really be in a state of attention, to listen, to prepare the foundation for...?
Creativity is vital to the longevity of the tree. I believe it is also vital to our health and longevity. As long as we continue to create, to learn, to teach, we maintain vitality. What do you do to maintain your vitality?