Advice From a Tree

May 8, 2015


Advice from a Tree

Dear Friend,
Stand Tall and Proud
Sink your roots deeply into the Earth
Reflect the light of a greater source
Think long term
Go out on a limb
Remember your place among all living beings
Embrace with joy the changing seasons
For each yields its own abundance
The Energy and Birth of Spring
The Growth and Contentment of Summer
The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall
The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter
Feel the wind and the sun
And delight in their presence
Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
And the mystery of the stars at night.
Seek nourishment from the good things in life
Simple pleasures
Earth, fresh air, light
Be content with your natural beauty
Drink plenty of water
Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes
Be flexible
Remember your roots
Enjoy the view!

By Ilan Shamir


I've always loved this poem. It's a reminder of how deeply connected I feel with trees. They are steady, rooted in the earth and connected to the heavens, as their branches reach for the sky. They are the conduit for the Mother to the Father, embodying and embracing both. I find nourishment in the forests, where I'm not expected to do or be anything. I feel a sense of deep peace and acceptance.


As I child I spent long hours climbing trees, clambering up the trunk, grasping on to low hanging branches to haul myself up higher and higher into swaying limbs. The higher I went, the happier I was, getting a view of the earth unlike the one standing on the ground. I always felt safe and held by the trees, would stretch out and feel the wind's song as it sifted through the branches. Maybe my name contributed to that feeling of contentment, as a robin nests and finds shelter, the same as me. It was my happy place, my sanctuary when sad, and nourishment when my need to be alone called me up among the leaves.


A few years ago I felt the need to climb again, just to remind myself of the freedom I always felt when up in the branches. It was both scary and exhilarating. I didn't climb very high, just enough to connect with those old feelings. These days I visualize myself as tree and practice extending my roots deeply into the earth, breathing through my legs and out my feet, right into the core, drawing heat and energy into my body, my temple, finding my ground. I breathe the earth up to my heart center and breathe in the heavens through my crown, mixing earth and sky.


I live amongst the trees, in what my oldest son calls an envelope. I watch these old friends through the seasons and learn from their rhythms; my rhythms. As they draw into themselves in the winter, so do I. In the spring, we spread our leaves out and stretch, celebrating new growth. Summer finds us basking in the warmth, soaking up sun's rays, and in fall, we release what's no longer serving us, letting go of what's no longer needed.


So as the poem says, stand tall and proud, seek nourishment from the earth, and dance and sway in the breezes. Let the changing seasons of our lives bring contentment, finding simple pleasures in the everyday moment, reflecting the light of a greater source, and send those roots deep!

Tags: Tadasana, yoga

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