If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees.
By Dr Angel Adams
With the arriving of the winter weather this week, I was ever so conscious that the delicious deciduous trees will soon become barren. Just last month when walking through Richmond Park, I saw the green leaves of the Sugar Maples transforming into vivid orange coloured foliage and the Field Maple leaves giving way to subtle yellow. This tree is said to be associated with the heart and love and can bring contentment to those who are burdened by responsibility.
The leaf loss in winter helps the trees to conserve their moisture in the trunk and branches, puts them into a state of dormancy and greatly reduces the amount of energy that they need to stay alive. It reminds me of how we tend to conserve our energy in the winter by staying home more, perhaps curled up on the sofa in front of a crackling fireplace.
The Pine trees, the old ancient English Oak and the Sweet Chestnut tree employ a different survival strategy through the cold winter. They continue to give us the opportunity to see their leaves and needles even when covered in snow. I hope this short poem by Mary Oliver will help to inspire you to venture out and walk slowly through the fallen leaves in the presence of giants.
When I Am Among the Trees
When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness,
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”
~ Mary Oliver ~