Trees and Patience

Dear reader, this post is from the archives of AskGCW.

As trees, we must practice patience. We begin humbly, as a tiny fragile looking seed finding a home in the soil where conditions for life and future growth exist- moisture, light air soil, warmth… the sense of home and belonging.

Silver Maple seeds

Here our first roots unroll toward earths’ magnetic pull. Our precious seed leaves burst out and open, stretching to the light. This is our home for life, this patch of soil and sun.

We are settled here. We are content and patient in the place chance has chosen for us. We live lives of endurance, growing slowly year by year adding height and girth, our bark expanding and thickening.

Hackberry bark

We practice patience as our new green branches turn woody in months gaining in strength and size over the years. We stand tall according to our nature, we soak in light, pull in nutrients and moisture from the soil, feeding ourselves, providing homes for birds and insects, wildlife, tiny mammals, mosses, lichen. We do this for decade upon decade.

For generations, for lifetimes we thrive and survive.

You might consider us to be miracles! From fragile seedlings to magnificent mature trees, we have a strong will to live and endure, to take up the space we need, to soak in our share of sunshine and pull in the sustenance we need from the Earth.

We patiently endure droughts, torrential rains, lightening, storms, extreme cold and wilting heat. Year after year we patiently adapt to the conditions of our environment. Sometimes these conditions cause stress and then we benefit from your care concern and attention.

Trees and storm clouds

We are the calm green backdrop to your lives, providers of cooling shade, beautifying your neighborhoods and landscapes, holding the soil, clearing the air, sheltering your farms towns and and cities, greening your cemeteries, ranging over mountains and ringing lakes.

We lovingly watch your children grow from infants to adults, we witness with affection the growth and development of your grandchildren and great grandchildren.

We can show you what patience is.

A tree’s home

I am perfectly attuned to my chosen patch of Earth, my rooted place, my real estate, my home. I’ve gone all-in, set up camp, sent my roots deep, made a commitment.

I may be here longer than the longest human lifespan, so I must make my peace with my choice of growing site, make the best of it, learn to love it.

Grandmother Cottonwood, winter

To survive I must be flexible with the changes happening around my patch of earth and sky. If I am brittle and rigid, I might snap in two during a heavy windstorm, losing limbs right and left.

To survive, my roots must reach deep, for shallow roots would not hold my weight or counterbalance my majestic limbs, and I would topple in weather conditions that would undermine and weaken me.

I have made my stand, sent down roots, taken my place among the community of trees, knowing my interconnections with all the living beings of this place – those who rely on sunlight, water, earth, and air for their lives.

Grandmother Cottonwood, summer

Whatever happens, I stand strong and tall. I carry out my purpose; reach to the light and root to the Earth, my home.

The earth, our home

 

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Summer song

This earth, our home, is turning. As it turns all living things in this beautiful place hang on for the ride! We are all creatures of this planet. Separate us from our home and we grow diseased, we grow homesick and die. We are meant for earth and she is meant for us. Our bodies and roots are attuned to the gravity, soil, energy, climate, stones and rhythms of our native place.

We are not space travelers who can discard one planet for the next and solve all problems in 1 hour of TV drama! This is our only option for a home! Please do those things that keep our home, the earth thriving and healthy.

Connect to her through your feet. Get to know her ways. Ask her for guidance. What does she need and want from us to thrive and renew herself? How can we feed her soil and nurture the continuing tradition of an abundant variety of life forms living in harmony and balance?  Listen to her carefully and follow her advice.

Our earth is a magnificent hub in the great web of all existence. Our home is here. Let us take care of her.