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Thoughts About Trees

The room where I take yoga has a wall of windows which look out into a park filled with trees. Following yoga class on a beautiful October day, I shared my thoughts about trees with Janet, the instructor. Janet said to me “You have to put that in your book.” Janet is a wise woman, so I followed her advice. The following is an excerpt from that book.

My thoughts about trees are that evergreen trees represent our eternal lives and deciduous trees represent the lives we live each day.  When you look into a wooded area in the depths of  winter, you see many trees with only branches.  They almost seem as though they are standing there waiting. They know they are in a state of transition.  As you catch a glimpse of an evergreen however, you notice its beautiful, intense green color against the stark landscape.  It seems to be so peaceful and full of life.  It is not waiting at all. It is as it always will be. Evergreen trees remain unchanged, regardless of the season, just like our eternal souls. 

 Deciduous trees, such as maple and oak, change with the seasons. They adapt to their environment, swaying with the wind when necessary.  In the spring, new buds form. With summer comes the full leaf.  Autumn brings the beautiful changes in color.  As winter approaches the leaves dry out, fall off and the branches are bare.  The cycle then continues until the tree experiences all that life has to offer.  The tree then dies, falls to the earth and returns to the source from which it came.  Like these trees, our lives are subject to the changes that occur in this world. Our challenge is to sway with the challenges life brings our way. 

As with the deciduous tree, our individual forms in this world are temporary. This thought makes it a little easier to accept the changes that happen to us in this world.  We can enjoy the pleasurable experiences and endure the painful experiences, letting go of all when the time comes.  A wonderful saying of the Buddha is “Everything that has a beginning has an ending.  Make peace with that and all will be well”.