• The Tree

    As I quietly sit in my backyard, I watch the one lone tree that sits within it. I have no idea what type of tree it is and quite frankly, it does not matter. To me, all that matters is it is an exquisite thing of beauty with a lush green canopy that shades a good portion of my tiny yard. It is late spring, and the flowers that once bloomed a brilliant white just a few short weeks ago are all but gone. All that remains are bits of withered brown petals.

    With its brilliant blue sky and bright, warm sunshine, the Bay Area is breathtakingly beautiful this time of year.  A breeze stirs and gently caresses my lonely tree causing it to dance like a lover lost in song. As I watch the tree gently sway in the wind, brownish bits drift to the grass below, the floral remains no longer needed by the tree.

    As the dry, discarded flowers fall, the tree does nothing to stop them. The limbs do not swoop down to catch them. The leaves do not shield them in a desperate attempt to hold them closer…even if just for a moment longer and the flowers make no attempt to stay. Why is this? It is because this is the natural order of things.

    The flowers know they have served their purpose. They have accomplished their mission and have stayed for a season. Now it is time to move on. The flowers know they are no longer needed; that it’s okay to let go and to travel to wherever the breeze may take them. The tree, too, knows that their time together has come to an end. In order to grow and thrive, it must release that which no longer serves it. It is time to move on to the next season. It is content to gently release the flowers into the breeze. This is the flow of life, the natural order of things. It’s what is necessary and needed.

    I notice that there is no crying or clinging desperation. Neither the flowers nor the tree is fighting to hold on to one another. They both gently allow the change to happen for it is not sad. The tree does not concern itself with where the flowers fall. The flowers do not fret over the fate of the tree. It is all part of the natural order of the universe always changing, always flowing.

    As I watch this seemingly simple event, I am reminded that I too must surrender myself to the natural order of the universe. I must release that which no longer serves me rather than desperately cling to it. In order to grow and blossom like the beautiful tree, I must let it go and learn to dance in the breeze and greet the next season. The tree knows that the universe provides and embraces the next season without thought or care. It worries not about what the future holds for this moment is all that is. In this moment, it is in the midst of simple and abundant flow… being all that it was designed to be. Nothing more, nothing less. I suddenly become acutely aware that by watching this simple act, I have been taught a valuable lesson and silently give thanks.

    • Learning to surrender to that which is out of our control is the key to serenity.
      Beautiful column, and a beautiful reminder.
      Thank you.

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