“Most of the trees are just trees, of course; but many are half awake. Some are quite wide awake, and a few are, well, ah, well getting Entish . That is going on all the time.” – Treebeard, from The Two Towers, by J. R. R. Tolkien
I was walking in the woods the other day and looked up into the naked branches of an old oak tree. Winter had stripped the tree of its leaves, but its trunk – so broad and strong – stood tall, supporting its many branches, limbs, and twigs. I placed my hand on the tree, closed my eyes, and took a deep breath. When I opened my eyes again, the tree whispered, “Be still. Rest. It is winter.”
I looked into a creek nearby and saw the tree reflected in the water. The tree said, “Be quiet. Look inward. Now is the time to reflect on all the gifts you have been given.”
I looked up at the tree stretching toward the bluest sky, and the tree said, “Always seek the light and let the darkness fall away. Stretch upward and breathe in the goodness.”
I saw the crooked, graceful lines of each branch above and thought of the framework of my own life – the foundation of love, the luck and opportunity, the lessons learned, the experiences that shaped me, and I was filled with gratitude.
I stood there touching the tree and listening. The tree fell silent, and I said, “Thank you.”