Counsel of a Tree

Trees have so much to teach. Like us, their roots are unseen, and no matter how glorious the front they put up for the world, their true strength lies in the hard work that takes place unnoticed beneath the surface.

They have good years and bad years, and yet they endure. They know how to withstand all seasons, to be patient with adversity, to store up strength for the hard times. They are nourished by the land. When the wind blows, they understand the power of the unseen, and bow their heads before it.

They have about them a deep compassion. They provide rest for the traveler, food for the hungry. They will even give up their own lives to provide shelter and warmth for others. They welcome weaker creatures without asserting their power.

It is a wise person who seeks the counsel of a tree. An oak will teach you about strength, a cottonwood about endurance, a willow about grace, an apple or a cherry about abundance. A pine will show you humility before God in the way it takes the shape of praise. A palm will teach you about celebration.

The tree, our near neighbor, reaches across the species to touch us with a clearer truth.

~ Kent Nerburn, Small Graces

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