How Trees Teach Us About Life
By Gene Monin
I’d like to be a mature oak tree, standing straight and tall in integrity and truth.
I remember flying over the city and seeing how many trees were around the old hospitals. There was more green than houses.
I think of trees and their varieties just as people come in all shapes and forms. Some trees are stately and others are like weeds, growing fast and providing no benefit. They are like us in so many ways, taking years to grow and mature.
Some seedlings die, and others make it, just like people. Trees face obstacles like we do as they grow, competing for food, water and space.
Some trees are uprooted easily by winds, others bend over to survive. Those of us who adapt to the forces around us go on, others are rigid in their ways and fail due to stress or disease.
Trees, too are vulnerable to diseases and need treatment like us.
Trees amazingly adapt to the seasons every year and persist in bring new growth and hope in spring.
They survive extremes the weather throws at them, and like us are controlled by weather.
Evergreens seem to come through the worst storms unbroken. They can stand impossible loads of snow, just as some people seem to survive impossible burdens.
Birches are delicate with beautiful appearance, like some people. But disturb their roots and they soon fall, like people easily offended.
Maples are in between birches and oaks and are trees which share with us. In the fall their gorgeous leaves are a last glimpse of summer. They willingly give their syrup to us to enjoy a flavour better than anything humans can devise.
Poplars grow quickly, and don’t really provide shade, beauty or firewood like the hardwoods. The worst are Manitoba maples whose leaves don’t change colour like maples, are ugly, and grow like weeds.
Trees have provided shelter, boats, sailing masts, fruit, furniture and work since the beginning of time, and even their dead bodies serve us.
The scars of life still show on a tree, even though healed. They can overcome serious abuse and damage, and never complain. Some people are like that, cheerful and helpful after being run over by life. They go on as usual.
Some trees age well, like some of us. Others give in when isolated and no longer protected by other trees. People do the same when they lose their security blanket of work, friends or family.
Trees slowly lose branches with age, as we lose health and mobility. They have helped people with shade all their lives and like us lose the strength to help others.
Soon the last wind will come and the tree will have run its earthly course, like we do when God calls.
We could learn a lot from trees- accepting change, making do with what is left, savouring the sun at every opportunity, sharing their branches with bird nests and sharing their beauty and gifts.
A world without trees would be ugly indeed. But only God can make a tree (Joyce Kilmer- Trees).
Gene Monin is a pastor in Ontario Canada
Thank you, Gene Monin for this submission. If you have a poem or article you’d like to share with GRAND, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org