The Tree

As a person who loves travelling, reading, learning about the world that surrounds me, the one thing that I pitied most of my adolescent life was the supposedly inanimate tree that stands mutely before my house. No, it was not mutilated, withered or infertile. In fact, Spring brought forth its beauty and splendour every year and afforded me the most beautiful sight I could find in a city. What my restless mind pitied was the fact that the tree had to stand in its place every moment of its life, witnessing the same sights day and night, quietly shedding its old parts and donning new ones year after year. The maddeningly repetitive acts were a sheer torture as I imagined myself in its stead. What if I was stuck in one place unable to move, bear wind, sun and rain unflinchingly, just forced to accumulate experiences without being able to exorcise them in any way?

The perception of this dichotomy gradually dissolved and as I actually accumulated and shed experiences, I found that just one particular object in nature had so much to teach me.

What I perceived as movement in my existence, was actually so limited to one small part of the Earth, that it did not really mean movement from a higher plane. I cannot escape this planet after all. However, trotting the globe would also have been a welcome respite. But my life was restricted to very few repetitive acts I performed year after year. And that is when I realized I was so much like the tree that stood just a few feet away from me, doing nothing much than patiently welcoming the change in the external conditions and experiencing the same seasons over and over again.

And the more I contemplated about the tree, the further I learned about the secrets of life. The simplest fact that it taught me was that I could cultivate the ability to tolerate the changes that the external conditions impinge upon my self. And if I refuse to welcome those changes, I’d still have to tolerate them anyway. Nature is much larger and pretty ruthless than you’d like to believe.

And once I cultivated the patience, it also taught me that there is nothing wrong in being stationary. The perception that it is dreadful to be stuck at one place was so limiting. The tree as a stationary object of nature was serving so many purposes, as a source of livelihood and beauty! Why couldn’t my adolescent eyes understand such simple fact of life? And then I could at once understand the concept of sacrifice and love that issued from the twisted branches in front of me. From a pulseless object, the tree had now transformed into a source of wisdom and knowledge for me. How could I have ever undermined its existence? Or dared to pity it even for a moment?

Now, if just one lone object in nature is filled with so much purpose and service for other creatures surrounding it, how much more are we human beings capable of, if we consider ourselves on an elevated position compared to that tree? How can I find my existence without purpose? And likewise can’t I be a source of beauty, happiness and livelihood to others?

Wouldn’t that align me with the true order of the Universe, or the Nature?


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