Survivor's Testimonial from the Oak Tree in Winter

Oak in winter, near Lake Aspen in Tumba Sweden by Phoenixdolphin
Oak in winter, near Lake Aspen in Tumba Sweden by Phoenixdolphin | Source


“Storms make the oak grow deeper roots.” George Herbert (1593-1633)


“Seasons change, but they don’t change me,” the oak insists.

“The white glistening snow does not make me white. It is not a part of my description. If it tells anything about me, it is only that I am experiencing a harsh, distressing winter.

"This is not a good time to judge me by appearance, although I hope that underneath this chilly frosting, you recognize my sturdy frame.

"I am still strong."


First spring leaves on a young Australian oak by NotinREALITY
First spring leaves on a young Australian oak by NotinREALITY | Source

Affirmation

"Right now, it may be difficult for you to classify me, but my identity is not based on who you think I am. What matters is that I know who I am:

  • "I am a deciduous oak. Part of the natural process of my life is that I lose my leaves in the winter. I lose my leaves, not my roots which are the source of my strength.
  • "I also know, and am content, that losing my leaves is nature’s way of conserving moisture for my trunks and twigs. I will not spend the winter wishing and hoping to be some other type of oak.
  • "My identity is connected to my purpose--to provide shade for the children. The same bitter cold which causes me to lose my leaves, keeps the children indoors. My usefulness is not affected by my harsh circumstances.
  • "I count myself more fortunate than many other oaks. Some suffer the demise which makes them into floors or furniture; I only suffer the harsh winters and survive to see the spring."
  • I identify with national significance. I share the general qualities of oaks--strength and endurance, which contributed to our selection as the National Tree for the United States, England and Germany.


The Council Oak in late summer, Coate Water, Swindon by Brian Robert Marshall
The Council Oak in late summer, Coate Water, Swindon by Brian Robert Marshall | Source

Anticipation

"You should hear me tell the stories about life before the winter—the children playing in the courtyard, bringing books and blankets, playing ball, and sharing their joyful sounds of laughter.

When I recall the memory of such happy times, my thoughts fast forward to the future when the season changes again.

  • "My green leaves will return by early May. My appearance will change for the better.
  • "The caterpillars and the moths will come by for nourishment from my leaves.
  • "Woodpeckers and bluebirds will come for shelter and the yellow bills will return for my acorns. Birds with white breasts and others with red shoulders will add to the colorful scene within my branches.
  • "Nature lovers will bring their cameras devices and spend time admiring me. It makes me happy that they find me attractive both when my leaves are showing and when they're destroyed by snowing."


Autumn Oak in England by Glyn Baker
Autumn Oak in England by Glyn Baker | Source

Application

"You too, dear reader can learn to adjust to the changing seasons in your life, the same way oaks do. You may look frail while going through your winter of adversity, but always remain true to who you are. Here's are seven principles to guide you:

  • (1) "Nourish your inner strength even when you look beaten on the outside.
  • (2) "Remind yourself that your rough season will pass, and your beauty and strength will surface again, perhaps even magnified.
  • (3) "Recall incidents from the past when you were flourishing, and take pride that you made some valuable contributions.
  • (4) "Anticipate the return of favorable circumstances and make plans to continue your contributions.
  • (5) "Never wish to be anyone else. You have the skills and the stamina to survive the challenges which life throw at you.
  • (6) "Be grateful for the example of the oak. It has no sense of worry. Lose yours and expect to survive the same way the tree does.
  • (7) "Pray to the same Providence which protects the oak tree in winter, to protect you through your circumstantial winter of ill-health, economic hardship, dysfunctional relationship, shattered dreams or whatever the season brings. Trust and endure.

"And finally, while you wait for your blessings to bloom:

  • "May strangers not judge you by the frown on your face, or colleagues by your diminished presence; may they visualize your integrity underneath your suffering.
  • "May you find the warmth of friendship and the comfort of a shoulder on which to lean; and may your friendship be as stable as an oak when your turn comes to stand beside a friend in the the midst of his or her personal winter.
  • "May your anticipation of blossoms in the spring, the sound of play in the summer, and harvests in the fall, keep you grounded and grateful and joyful. May you survive your winter and come enjoy my shade."


© 2011 Dora Isaac Weithers

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Comments 20 comments

Sky9106 profile image

Sky9106 4 years ago from A beautiful place on earth.

Am smiling , because you learn something new all the time once you are sincere.

Very nice story.Lol. But any thing for the children.

Bless very interesting and up.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Sky9106. I appreciate your kind comments. Yes, anything for the children.


mathira 4 years ago

Good comparison MsDora and effective too.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, mathira. Glad you think so.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK

I found this interesting. I have often thought about that we humans could learn a thing or two from trees. It’s all too easy for people to think they should be happy, strong and so on at all times, but in nature there are cycles and the same is true for us. (We are part of nature after all.) I recently wrote a hub that also tackles this subject, but it’s written from the perspective of a tree taking on the human way of thinking and feeling unhappy about losing its leaves - to illustrate the same points you make here.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Melovy,thanks for stopping by. You didn't mention the topic of your hub, but I will look for it. Glad we share similar views.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

MsDora.. this was wonderful.. strongly written.. this is Hub nugget worthy too :) Bless you


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Frank. It is an honor to have you stop by. I appreciate your kind opinion of this piece.


Phoebe Pike 4 years ago

This is an amazing hub! I applaud your effort and your skill in writing such a moving piece. It was interesting and it was an incredible piece. I cannot wait to read more from you. -_^


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Phoebe, for your encouragement. So glad you found it interesting.


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago

Wow! I love this...it speaks volumes to what life really is. I love the two statement (1)I am still strong. My take away is no matter what happens you can't destroy me or my essence..I stand tall and I stay strong. And, (2) I know my purpose.... many of us never really know why we are here and to know ones purpose is to know God. Thank you Ms Dora for sharing this. Voted up, awesome. beautiful...and it there were a button Inspiring.. God Bless.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Dee aka Nonna, your comment is so encouraging. Thank you very much. You zeroed in the two basic messages of the oak. They inspire me too.


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Parable of The Oak Tree in Winter brilliant photos and I like trees I have a Black Oak tree and Oak trees are so beautiful to have around the house


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

DDE, you're blessed to have oak trees around you. They give so many positive messages. Thank you for sharing.


mathira profile image

mathira 2 years ago from chennai

MsDora, Nature teaches us many lessons. Your hub was very inspiring and thought provoking.Courage and perseverance in hard times will see us through.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thank you, Mathi. We get so much inspiration from nature. The trees survive the adverse weather and continue to fulfill their purpose. God can help us do the same.


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 2 years ago from London, UK

Lovely Hub - I really liked the Affirmations - so powerful.

I'm saving the link. Thanks. :-)


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thank you, Lady E, for reading and commenting. This is one of my favorite articles. So glad you like it.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Just thought I would use right here to thank you for great advice in my life. Thanks Dora

And on the matter of the tree. I just love to hug them. And I am not a weirdo tree hugger --- ok I am.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Eric, I would hug the tree right along with you. Trees speak so much wisdom if we would take the time to learn from them. Thanks for your comment.

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