Monday, October 6, 2008

The Oak Tree Perspective

I am writing this post in Albert Lea, Minnesota. I'm here to co-lead three workshops with my colleague, David Larson. David and his wife Carol are wonderful hosts. They live in a lovely home on a hill overlooking Fountain Lake. I visit here several times a year and stay in a guest room facing the water.

Just outside my window is a huge sprawling oak tree that must have been extending its roots for over a century. There are numerous other trees that surround the house, set on a hill creating a beautiful view of the lake below. The setting creates a feel of being in a tree house. Just for fun, I imagined if this oak tree outside my window could speak, what would it say? What would be its perspective of the world? It would have witnessed many changes over the years has it dealt with it all?

Certainly the environment has changed significantly over the past century. The area gradually grew with homes being built over the years. What was once wilderness is now a thriving community. Residents of nearby homes come and go. The community has grown in population. The issues of the world have been many. Weather has sometimes been serene and at other times stormy.

Obviously this beautiful massive Oak has survived all of the changes. It has not only survived, but has grown over time. Although the world around this tree has changed, what the tree is, has not. In fact, the more it witnesses and lives through in this world, the stronger it gets. In spite of the changes that surround it, one thing remains the same. The Oak is still an oak. It is still beautiful, graceful and strong as it has always been. I imagine if this tree would speak, it would say "Just be. The changes around you do not determine who you are".

So, I am going to borrow this perspective from the Great Oak outside my window. I choose to stay strong in who I am, regardless of the changes, sunshine or storms, that go on around me.

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