Trees, the Interconnectedness of All Things and the Power to Choose
I am currently emerging from one heck of a flu. The shakes have gone, my head has pretty much stopped continuously rotating, and I can even more or less hear properly. All that’s left is a really annoying cough and phlegm in pretty 1970’s bathroom suite green … cos you really wanted to know that. Oh yes and my memory’s completely gone. Forgetting people’s names, faces, forgetting which section is which in my new meticulously organised but as yet unlabeled paperwork filing system … argh. I feel like someone’s wiped my hard drive. Thankfully I still remember my children, where the kitchen is and what it’s for, so I guess that covers the important things in life. Onward!
Yesterday morning I stopped the car opposite a park so that I could have a phone conversation. In the summer the place would be buzzing with people, but in the cold of winter only one or two determined dog owners were to be seen, battling the blustering wind and hanging on to their leads for dear life as their pooches took them for a walk. The playground lay empty. I briefly flirted with the idea of having a few goes on the zip wire (yes, I have a bit of a mad streak) as for once I wouldn’t have to stand in line and wait with a bunch of 8 year olds whilst pretending I was just there to help my son, but then decided against it as my car was much warmer.
At this time of year all the trees are naked, and you can see their ‘bones’. I like trees. To me they represent how energy/matter is distributed in this existence. If the trunk represents the whole, then each major branch would be a group of things, say celestial bodies, or all carbon based life, and then the smaller branches would be the divisions of those things, eg; plants, animals. At some point you’d get to all the little twigs, leaves and flowers at the end, and each of those represent each individual instance of something, say a particular star or animal or human. I know the analogy needs a little work, and it would have to be a gigantic tree, but it does really help you grasp the idea of ‘the interconnectedness of all things’. We are all connected, not just every human being, but also every animal, every plant, every mountain, every star and every planet. The connection comes from within – we are connected via our very essence, by the fact that we are all made of the same floaty frozen energetic ‘stuff’, bits of which migrate between us all with regularity, and thereby connected to the same trunk/source. If this paragraph strikes a chord with you, wooohooo, I am not alone. If it doesn’t, sorry, I just had the flu 😉
That wasn’t even what I was thinking about the trees yesterday though. I was looking at their skeletons. In front of me were three types of trees. One type had knotted twisted branches that somehow still made their way outward and skyward, so that when clothed in leaves the tree would still have a classic tree shape. Another type had fine delicate branches that seemed to have grown effortlessly. The outer branches of these trees swayed gently in the wind. The third type of tree reminded me of my old school sports teacher. Even then she looked about 80, yet her back was ramrod straight, and she held herself with pride. The spines of these trees reached to the sky and the further branches seemed almost an afterthought.
‘I want to be the middle type of tree’ I thought to myself. Why fight life and be all knotted and twisted inside? Or why be so obsessed with perfection that you don’t even have time for proper branches? The middle trees were beautiful, elegant and effortless. All the trees were growing in the same soil within meters of each other. They all had the same conditions to work with. Yet each grew differently, according to its nature.
Trees don’t have a choice – they just obey their genes and grow as they are designed to. Animals are the same – granted they have a greater ability to discriminate, but at the end of the day they just obey their ‘programming’. We humans are gifted with something no other animal has. The ability to choose.
Many people just go with the flow, and let their conditions decide their life for them. Many people waste that gift that elevates them from the other animals. After all we have animal bodies and we too are awash in a sea of social conditioning. So you can get through life hardly having to think for yourself at all, and many do. Isn’t that a waste though? We get to choose what we do with the conditions around us. We get to choose what we do with what comes to us. Do you really want to leave that choice to the herd? I don’t. I choose. I choose to be the middle tree for a start, beautiful, relaxed, elegant, graceful. And I choose to keep on choosing. It may be harder work, and I’ll only have myself to blame if something goes wrong, but then on the other hand I’ll be able to take credit too when things go right! And I know that I’ll be the creator of my own life … I wouldn’t have it any other way.
How about you? Do you choose to choose? And if so which tree are you? And which would you be?
I think I may go on that zip line today…