Michael's Message - Trees and Personal Growth
As I write this, snow is on the ground and more is gently falling. Brave crocus bulbs chose to bloom way back in January. Our fruit trees tried to bud in February. But now, with both of those early signs of spring covered in snow, I have to remind myself that there are still a number of weeks remaining of winter to endure.
But that “enduring” thing is a good thing … right? To endure is to live. If we cease to endure, what else could that mean other than quitting all efforts to hold ourselves together? Or ceasing to live entirely?
And so we endure the cold for just a bit longer, exchanging wan winter smiles with each other, as we slosh through the slush towards spring. Spring is my favorite season, with so much beauty, so much promise. Plants and trees awaken to leaf and bloom, proving that winter doesn’t and didn’t defeat them.
“Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s Party!” – Robin Williams
As I got to thinking about spring and trees, several things occurred to me about how trees can symbolize events in our lives, especially as we age:
- Have you noticed that, with trees, the eagerness to leaf out and grow each spring is not affected much by age? Trees of all ages become vibrant, alive and attractive every spring. Why not us?
- Trees don’t seem to complain about where they are planted, how much competition they haec for sunlight or water in their location, or how many rocks are in the soil their roots have to navigate around. Willa Cather said, “I like trees because they seem more resigned to the wa they have to love than other things do.”
- Sometimes we make shade for others by planting a tree, sometimes we sit in the shade of a tree planted by someone before us, but it never does much good to “throw shade.” (Slang for publicly criticizing or expressing contempt for someone.)
- Trees grow slowly. We can’t do much about that. This helps develop patience and forward-thinking in a society that is becoming addicted to instant gratification:
Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Warren Buffet
- Trees are comforting to look at, to think about, to sit or stand under, to swing from, and even to climb and feel supporting your weight – just ask a kid! The shelter a tree provides is compared to one wish we have here at Shipley Center for all of our members … friendship!
“Friendship is a shelter tree.” -= Samuel Taylor Coleridge
And finally, on a lighter note,
- “I looked up my family tree and found out I was the sap.” – Rodney Dangerfield
Enjoy March as we all look forward to spring!