Trees, with their roots deep in the Earth and branches reaching toward the heavens, have always filled me with the curious suspicion that they are actually divine antennas, relaying to the Earth the energy and messages of the Divine, or whatever code word we use for divinity in our own lives. And sometimes I wonder, are we humans much different? Yes, we can claim our own will, and heart, and mind. But can we align those three things, strengthen them, like the trunk of a mighty oak tree, and become divine antennas ourselves?
Today I noticed a tree in my yard. It is growing, and I know it is growing, not because it looks larger, but because it looks awkward. One spindly branch has launched itself high above its peers, with one flat leaf blowing in the wind, like a flag on a staff. For all its thinness, the branch is surprisingly strong in the wind, erect in its stance. The little branch is like a backbone, learning from the tree’s own trunk about strength and vigor and growth.
Can we also grow? Can we strengthen and nourish our trunk, and then launch ourselves into better human beings? I think we can, as long as we don’t mind looking a little awkward sometimes, even feeling a little awkward as we fumble around with growth, trying to find our personal path towards the sun. The branch is not embarrassed to change. It is not too busy blowing in the wind to try, or afraid to stand out from its peers. Nor is it proud or judgmental when it succeeds in its own personal growth and stands above the other branches. It just simply does what it is meant to do. Grow.
And that skinny branch, for all its different-ness and aloneness, is free in the breeze and the sun, free to know the sky in all its vastness. It becomes comfortable in its new place, and perhaps the lower little tree limbs begin to feel these sensations too. Yet the branch is ever silent, showing a path for them by its own beingness, its own existence. The others are welcome to join him, to seize their own paths and opportunities for growth. And then, maybe, the branch will grow. Again.