June 23, 2014

Revisiting An Old Friend ~ Trees

Trees are the longest living of all of God's creations on this earth.

What can they teach us?

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 absorbs poisonous carbon dioxide into its leaves, changes the chemical make-up, producing oxygen which benefits us all; fresh air for all breathing creatures.

Miles and miles of tree roots 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.

If there is an isolated tree in a forest or garden that is floundering due to lack of water the surrounding trees transfer moisture to it through their root system!  Now that is nurturing!

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.

Falling leaves cover the ground, providing a winter blanket  As the leaves decay, the process warms the soil and protect the bulbs and corms and sleeping plants. Nitrogen is produced, feeding 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.

A tree does not protect itself by attacking its enemies, yet it does not stand idly by, and letting it's enemies attack. 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 God uses a "tree" to hold the forbidden fruit even though fruit grows on so many other plant types.

Is Winter the Sabbath for trees?
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? 

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