a tree is knowledge

The leaves of a tree are special. In every moment they are a gift to the world. They awaken from sleep in the Spring. They flesh out and become all that they are: not knowing nor caring that they live off what City Man believes to be poison. They provide shade in the Summer, and become shelter for birds, and food for many. In Fall they become many colours, not one the same as another — all beautiful. As Winter enters under the nose of Fall, the leaves gracefully let go of their branches and float to the ground. There, they sleep.

Away from the seasons, the leaves are the lungs of the tree. Though lungs are light and vulnerable, they are powerful and can fill balloons and whistles and flutes. The leaves, small and green, are responsible for bringing up the water from the roots. It is the suction of the pores in a leaf that freshens the air and quenches the thirst of the tree. The roots burrow, the leaves pull.

There is much majesty and magic in a tree whose roots wander into the ground. If you have ever been by a lake, you may have noticed how the roots of a tree can extend as far along, and as deep below, as the tree stands tall. What is unseen is as magnificent as what is seen. To appreciate beauty is to know that it exists in the light and in the shadow — for surely it is both. A tree stretches out into the sky and reaches for expansion because it digs so deeply into the ground. A tree stands great thriving in the light above, and the dark below.

No man is an island

In this world, sometimes it seems that there is more value in receiving than giving. I do not agree. It is the artist that unveils his masterpiece, his magnum opus, his project that grew from the seeds of a dream to a towering statue of actualized potential…it is he who “gives” this to everybody. You give support, you give love, you give care. This is for sure enjoyable to receive, but I think what lacks in our society is the acknowledgment of the (at least) equally fulfilling act of giving.

Life and love are a kind of flow. To keep both healthy, one must have an open channel: one open to giving and one to receiving. That is the natural balance of life. A plant is healthy because it takes in carbon dioxide and because it releases oxygen.

It is also important to give things to yourself such as time and opportunity and slack; sometimes giving feels so good that it makes it hard to receive. The world is beautiful because people receive, too. That is also a form of giving, a giving of attention and respect. By openly receiving a gift, you exude warmth as you show the giver you welcome them into your heart. This must be why hugs make you feel so complete. (And don’t forget, even people who care give a shit or give a damn!)