Monday, January 15, 2018

What The Trees Don't Know


I swear it's like waking up to a different season every morning. In a week's time we've gone from 61 degrees, to freezing rain, to -1, and now we're back to pushing towards 20 degrees. Trying to keep up with it all is starting to tax my already overloaded little brain! After all, we need to know what's going on out there every day so we can plan accordingly ... don't we?

I was thinking about that very thing as I sat at my writing table this morning with a hot cup of my favorite coffee in hand, greeting my giant neighbor next door - a pine tree that must be 50 feet in height if not more. There are times I simply marvel at this magnificent creation. Since I've lived here, it has taught me so many valuable lessons about life. Today, it is teaching me about time.

Trees don't know anything about time. They do not measure the day, the seasons, or even the length of a weather event, like snow, rain, sleet or heat wave, the way we humans do. They just greet the new day as it arrives and adjust accordingly. They don't start worrying about whether they need to start planning in January for when to bud in April.  They don't check the Weather Channel for extended forecasts. Each day unfolds, one moment to the next, as it's supposed to. One day a few months from now they will wake up to a feeling in the air that spring is coming and start sending nourishment to the tips of their branches. When the time is right, the little green buds will begin to burst forth ... one day, one moment at a time.

There are many spiritual practices that tells us to surrender our need to know everything, at every moment of our lives, not only this moment, but what will unfold in the next hour, day, week or even year of our lives. By surrendering to what is, and letting each moment take care of itself, we give ourselves so much extra space to just embrace this new day and do with it what we need to do. If we wake up and it's raining, we'll grab the umbrella if we're going out. If we wake up to sunshine, we can lace up our sneakers and go for a walk. If we wake up to -1 degrees, like today, we can make ourselves something hot to drink, wrap ourselves up, and do what needs to be done.

Obviously, what the trees don't know doesn't seem to bother them. On the contrary, they seem to be doing just fine, and have done so since long before we humans showed up. Maybe we need to spend more time with them, sitting in stillness and silence and listening to their wisdom.

And so it is.