This is sort of an allegorical story about a special tree who has appeared outside my window for years. I call her Mother Tree. She tries to explain to me how she has lived all of her seasons so well, with less apparent effort than I have put into living my seasons.
When I first see a tree I notice how she is dressed. Each season there is a distinct difference in her wardrobe, but none is better than the other. I think Mother Tree thinks so too. I imagine she never tries to wear summer’s wardrobe in the winter and even though it hasn’t changed, every time I see her in the winter I still think that even though she is almost butt naked, she is still gorgeous. She is perfectly dressed for her surroundings, of the moment.
Aah, I think. Mother Tree lives in the moment.
Being a self-admitted fashionista (or I used to be), of course I am going to talk about how Mother Tree dresses for the seasons.
When I began writing this article it Autumn was just entering, so we will begin with the season of Autumn. This is not just going to be about clothing, what is worn. It is going to be about the inner and outer Tree; about things that matter most to Mother Tree.
I love autumn in Canada because of the rainbow of colours. In the fall I rarely give any thought to the trunk, the shape or what is below ground or even above ground surrounding where my tree, Mrs. Tree stands.
In the fall I am mesmerized by the brilliancy of the colours. It isn’t until the leaves start thinning out as the autumn moves closer to the winter season, that I then see how thin the branches might be or how vacant of animal life the tree is at this time.
I also notice the ground around the tree and might see that some of the tree’s older, denser roots are exposed. The ground that used to be a beautiful carpet of green grass is brown and dying. In places I see shimmering from tiny ice patches that formed in the cooler night air. Occasionally I will see a squirrel scurry by, and if s/he is lucky her tiny hands are grasping an acorn or a peanut that some passerby left behind.
Overall the scene seems bleak and barren; stripped of life. At least that is what is visible to the human eye.
But, behind the scenes in this autumn-winter transition there is more life energy than there ever was to produce the summer greenery or the fall kaleidoscope. There is a rush of life filling the aged tree trunk and I visualize Mother Tree’s heart pumping extra hard to get the same and nutrition to the tiny twigs of branches that lay barren at the end of the long fingers of the branches.
The tree knows that soon its nutrition will be unable to flow, and like a loving mother she works 24/7 to nourish and store as much nutrition and energy as she can to sustain her children (branches) and grandchildren (twigs) for the winter months.
She may remember what happened last year, how particularly cold and long the winter was; unusually cold and long, and in so remembering is putting more energy and effort than ever before to ensure she doesn’t lose any of her family.
She is a child of Mother Nature and she knows a lot. She knows that she has no control over the howling winter winds, the freezing snow and rain that will soon cover and entrap her and her children. She has always known this and respected it because she knows that she doesn’t know the why and wherefore or reasoning of things outside of her own element.
Mother Tree just knows that those who are within and a part of her are her responsibility and so she does everything within her to honour that trusting responsibility that Father Creator has given her.
Mother Tree isn’t doing much these days. Rarely does she give a thought to anything and doesn’t want to stir up unnecessary energy for fear it might snap off one of her tiny twigs who are at times barely holding on. She welcomes the breezes that are gentle enough to remove some of the burden of the beautiful white snow that covers most of her, taking away some of the extra load on the tiny shoulders of her children and grandchildren.
Even the tiny squirrels nested in her bosom seem to have slowed down to almost to a standstill.
She feels a gentle trickle, like someone licking her face and realizes that the sun is warmer today and a bit of the frozen ice that hardened her trunk is melting ever so slightly. It tickles and she wants to free one of her branches to “scratch the itch,” but knows she will not, even if she could, for fear of injuring one of her children.
She tries to be still, not think about the tickling of the melted ice. It’s late in the afternoon and she knows Mrs. Sun will be turning out her lights soon and that the water droplets will freeze in place making her look like her body is covered in tiny moles. She isn’t really a vain tree, but she does think how “ugly they make me look.”
Mother Tree suddenly realizes that the freezing cold temperatures have warmed up and she becomes excited because Spring is just around the corner.
The days are getting longer, the nights shorter. She can even feel the restlessness of the squirrels and the twitching of her children and grandchildren as they move ever so slightly and with more flexibility. She is less concerned about her own movement because she knows that her children and grandchildren’s flexibility is improving and they can move with her.
She knows that soon she will be hearing the singing of the returning birds, and the squirrels will leave the safety of the nest they had built in her bosom.
“Ah, she sighs. It has been a Winter well lived and well rested.”
Overnight, Spring whispered in with the early morning breezes. The air smelled of new life, the water flowing along the tree’s trunk no longer stopped at ground level but flowed up and down freely, nourishing Mother Tree from head to toe and far below.
I imagine Mother Tree’s thoughts are that it’s going to be a beautiful, beautiful Spring and there will be more colour than ever before around her green carpet.
I see a tear in her eye as she realizes that sometime during the winter months the human tore down the old buildings that had lay vacant for many years as her companions.
Perhaps she then smiles when she sees the beginnings of what look like rows and rows of gardens that were planted on the vacant land.
Yes, I can well imagine that Mother Tree does adapt well to the changes in her surroundings and that she finds something to delight in, no matter the situation. I see her branches sway and imagine she is clapping them together in delight and accidentally shaking off the tiny Bluebirds in the nest being fed by their mother. I thought I heard a sigh of relief, or was it just the breezes blowing through the newly budded branches of Mother Tree?
Human Speak – Autumn, Winter and Spring
When I find myself in the Autumn season, feeling colourful and alive I have no thoughts other than how beautiful life really is in that moment. I appreciate the bounty of life and share with others from that bounty.
Autumn to Winter
As autumn begins to turn to winter, my bounty dwindles and
unlike Mother Tree, I don’t want to share what little I do have with the branches and twigs around me (people) because I am concerned that I will not have enough to last me during the cold winter season.
I want to hoard everything, like the squirrel; store it up for one of those “just in case” moments that never seem to happen.
It’s hard to let go of old habits and traditions that have survived generations.
My father’s mother came over from Ireland during the ‘potato’ famine. She was a young girl when she made the trip alone and I have no doubt that the poverty and having to leave her family behind was carved into her soul; the wants and needs that never seemed to be met at home in Ireland. I am very much my father’s daughter and apparently quite like my grandmother and her siblings.
As my father was raising 8 kids I have no doubt it would have been foremost in his mind the need to gather in, store and provide for us. I remember him telling me more than a few times that I needed to
“put something away for a rainy day.”
Okay, now back to the point Spirit is trying to make with me. She is saying,
“VA look at what you just wrote about Mother Tree and then what you just wrote about you and your family.”
So I look. What I see missing from my human perspective, that Mother Tee seems to have had lots of, is FAITH that Father Creator will provide. Mother Tree did everything she possibly could to prepare for winter, and it seems having done that she never gave it another thought.
“So VA, what do you think I am saying or suggesting?”
My response is that if I have done everything that I possibly can then I have to learn to leave it with the Father; to trust that all needs and more will be met.
Winter to Spring
I am currently in the middle of Winter. Christmas has just passed and the temperatures around the world have dropped considerably. More world records.
There have been several indications and signs provided to me about what is coming up within the next few months; an apparent time of abundance. For now it is the winter months and like the hibernating bear, I could do well with my time to prepare and get in order what will be done as the abundance starts to come in.
Spirit lets me know a season of abundance and bounty is on its way and asks, “Are you prepared to receive and have you thought about what you will do?”
Question: We prepare for worst case scenarios. Why is it we don’t prepare for best case scenarios? Is it our thinking; my stinking thinking that says, “Nothing good ever happens to me!” Saying and thinking like that ensures that it is exactly what will happen; nothing good.
But, preparing for the abundance; laying out exactly what you plan on doing with it; spending it in advance so to speak – that is telling the Universe that you expect and are getting ready to receive.
Just like the ground around Mother Tree was prepared, the old buildings removed and the new flower beds planted, and Mother Tree waited with delightful expectation for the abundance of new flowers, how about we start living in that same delightfully expecting way!