Friday, August 7, 2009

The Spirituality of a Tree

I must admit I am fascinated with trees. My dream vacation would be to go out west and see the Sequoias and the great Redwoods. I find them absolutely fascinating!

About 8 years ago when I first entered the monastery, I read a book on the spirituality of trees. Trees are so resilient. They're deeply grounded, but have to be flexible enough to endure storms and strong winds. In the harsh cold days of winter, they shed their leaves becoming vulnerable. Despite the weather or growing conditions, trees are strong and persevere because of their groundedness and flexibility.

Being a true tomboy growing up, I did my share of tree climbing and always had scraped up knees and elbows. Once when I was in college, a friend of mine yelled to me in the grocery store, "Hey, tree hugger." Although I haven't visited it in a while, the tree near our monastery garden used to be a nice getaway. I'd take a journal, sit in its branches, and soak up its wisdom.

Go out. Look up. Check out the trees around you. They've been through a lot. Let us learn from them. They simply honor God by being trees - by being what they were created to be.

Do I do the same? Am I grounded, yet flexible? Am I vulnerable during hard times and trust that God is present? Do I trust that the seasons, the cycle of life, are God's plan? Do I reach toward God, the source of life and light? Do I honor God by simply being me?