Forest and Trees
“In our mediocrity and distraction, we forget that we are privileged to live in a wondrous universe.”— John O’Donohue
When you cannot see the forest for the trees, step back and observe the forest, the entire picture, the full journey. Uncover the narrative you’ve come to believe. Fiction or nonfiction? When too close to opinions, assumption and criticism, step back and find the connection between self and others. We are more alike than different. Humans, carrying stories that confine and constrict, trying to figure out the ending and missing the journey in the process. Joy can exist separate from circumstances and is rooted in gratitude.
Find the sacred in this day, found within. Be gentle and others. Kindness and peace to you today and each day that follows. Enter the sanctuary of the trees to be brought back to the fundamental and holiness of living daily. Clarity found in quiet. Ease found in pause. Gratitude found in seeing both the forest and the trees.
“Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured…
Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.
A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.
A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.
When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.” – Herman Hess, Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte
“You should belong first in your own interiority.”— John O’Donohue