This is a guest post by my very dear friend, Georgia Dewey. She writes of what the trees have taught her about life and she brings great truth with a poetic tone. Please enjoy!
The other day I rose bright and early, ready to punch Monday straight in the face, only to find that adventure was waiting to lead me astray. I drifted out my front door and began to wander. And as I wandered, aimlessly guided by the mismatched sidewalk squares, I stumbled upon a hidden haven. A secret park cozily nestled and cleverly hidden amongst a dozen picturesque neighborhood houses and white picket fences. Responsibility lurked in the back of my mind but the curiosity was overwhelming.
The trees, with their deep cherry reds and rusted yellow leaves, beckoned me. So, like the wisps of a dandelion tumbling into the breeze on the exhale of wish, I floated onward.
One foot meandering on along the path in front of the other, I soon found myself engulfed by the majesty of a Georgia forest in the heart of autumn.
My wandering turned to wondering, and my wondering to pondering with God himself. I sat on a bench, arms outstretched, head tilted skyward, and I began to take in, for the first time in a long time, the beauty that was presenting itself to me.
And the autumn trees, oh how they began to whisper thoughts unsaid. Wisdom not yet learned. Insights from above. Right before my eyes, God was giving visibility to the invisible wonders in my head. There are 5 things the autumn trees spoke to me that morning:
1. Live openhandedly. We exist in such a tight-fisted world. We must learn to share what we have, whether it is little or much, brand stinking new or comfortably old. Let go of the white-knuckled grip you have on things and the constant desire to be utterly in control. Be open-handed with what God has blessed you with. Whether it’s the time in your day, the people, the things or your perfectly thought out plans. This idea feels a lot like autumn, ya know? When it’s time to give the leaves to the ground, the tress just let them go.
2. Be still. We are constantly going. The hustle and bustle of our every day lives and never ending to-do lists has us neck deep in plans 7 days a week. The trees are proof that there is in fact a way to be calm and steady, yet wild and impulsive all at the same time. They mirror the lives we should desire to lead full of stillness (reelection and appreciation) and simplicity. Pay attention. Turn off the phone. Be silent. Realize how necessary it is to hold onto the here and now and be still. Take in the beauty that surrounds you. Express gratitude. Look up. Breathe deeply. Savor a moment. Give thanks and mean it. We will inevitably feel again the pulls and pressures of everyday life but that leads me to my next point…
3. Root yourself. These autumn trees, their roots go down deep. They stand tall against the peeking sun and are swayed but not broken by the all-consuming pull of the wind around them. The deeper the roots, the stronger they stand. May we be just the same as them. I’ve discovered that the best place to become rooted in is in God and God alone. Let your roots go down deep, stabilizing and nourishing every other part of your being. A strong foundation gives us the utmost confidence in remaining steady, handling the toughest unforeseen gusts of wind and bearing any load that life throws our way.
4. Grow until the very end. It’s easy to become comfortable with where and who we are. It’s in that cozy place of contentment that we often have zero desire to grow or move onward, to develop further. But the trees, they are constantly reaching for something more. Expanding towards the open sky above. Their branches are ever stretching and often intertwining with those around them creating beautiful masses of entanglement. We, much like the trees, are capable of growth through solitude and through connections with like-minded souls and opposites alike. May we have the desire to continually branch out and grow…and never stop.
5. Have faith. New life IS coming. What confidence the trees display! Their naked branches empty and exposed to the harshness of the elements, yet they know new life will come. But only when the time is right. For now, they must endure. Despite how vacant and unfulfilled they may feel. When a higher power wills it to be so, new life will come. New fruit is to be bared. Let us not get caught up and dwell on the difficult times but rather remember: this is merely a season. This isn’t forever. This isn’t how it’s always going to be. Have faith. Who knows what will come budding in the springtime. New life, new fruit, a brand new season is on the horizon.