Early in the morning, I head to yoga. Positioning myself in alignment with a tree outside the window, I set up my mat. This tree welcomes me to “be” with it. It holds space until I arrive, during class, and into the days ahead. Keeping focus, I gaze at it, allowing the steadiness and strength of it to envelop my being. Firm in its location, by the lake, it watches and listens to the sights and sounds.
From an early morning sunrises, to a late night sunsets, it takes in the array of activities that pass by it. Birds come to a nearby feeder, chirping and tweeting, gathering seeds, then fluttering away. A woodpecker knocks on the building, hoping to find a treat. Squirrels and chipmunks rustle about at its trunk. Large birds fly overhead, landing for rest on the cool waters. In silence, the tree listens. In grounded stillness, it waits.
As storms come, clouds turn from bright white to an ominous grey. Rain falls and winds blow. Holding steady at the bottom, the tree flexes and flows with the wind. The tree loses a few leaves and branches, ones that had already lost their vitality. New ones can begin to blossom and bloom, as temperatures rise. The tree is always moving. Change is a daily occurrence, yet it holds solid in its foundation, clinging to Mother Earth.
The weather cools. Bright green leaves, turn to brilliant gold colors.
Fog ebbs across the lake. Paddlers float by on boards, emerging from the misty waters. The tree watches. Rest is near. The tree is ready to let go of all of its leaves.
Winter comes. It is cold and dark.The critters have gone underground or down south. The lake is frozen with a sheet of ice. Snow blankets the ground. Quiet lasts longer. The tree has lost its color and splendor. There is nothing to do, but wait. Wait for the people to come and “be” with the tree, morning, afternoon, and evening. Naked and devoid of leaves and bright colors, it is vulnerable to the winds of change. The tree teaches the yogis, even though it lacks outward beauty, that true strength resides within. Standing firm in its space, heart open, it allows life changes to pass it by, yet it beckons its visitors to “be” with it.
The Earth warms. Leaves bud. Birds return. The tree awakens to greet a new spring day, happy to just “be”.
Susan J. McFarland
October 26, 2018