The Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom

The Journey

You are about to embark upon a journey of adventure and exploration; where, amongst the worlds greatest thrill seeking adventures, you can capture the essence of inner beauty, harmony and peace. With that in mind, I'd like to welcome you to join me, as I walk with you to explore the world's largest animal kingdom theme park.

Located on Discovery Island in the heart of Walt Disney World is Disney's fourth theme park, known as Animal Kingdom. The theme of Animal Kingdom was based upon the inspiration of Humankind's enduring love for animals. The park resides on 500 rolling acres with over 1700 animals and 4 million trees and shrubs.

The journey begins at the entrance through the pathways of the Oasis; lined with cobble stone walls and walkways surrounded by an array of tropical plants and lush green, thick vegetation.

Entering Paradise

Imagine if you will, walking slowly, turning your head from side to side trying to take in all there is to see. Your body is awakened by the sensations of the morning mist as it ever so softly sweeps over your skin.

Like a guided meditation, stopping for a moment, you close your eyes. Taking a deep breath, your chest expands, as the sweet aroma of the hibiscus blends with the surrounding flora of jasmine and plumeria, creating an aromatic essence with each inhalation.

Exhaling slowly, the worries and stress of the hustles and bustles that often times accompany family vacations slowly dissipates. A feeling of inner calmness and total relaxation ensues. Your awareness is heightened to a new level. Opening your eyes slowly, taking one step in front of the other, you come to a wooden footbridge. The stream beneath you meanders on its own path; slowly trickling over the rocks, you hear and feel its presence like ripples of the heart.

Sounds of nature resonate, from the waterfalls off in the distance. Birds sing, calling out as if to say, "hello" as they sense your presence. Like a melodic chorus, dancing with your spirit you become attuned to the harmonious flow.

Your heart is open. You feel centered as if your mind, body and soul have been rejuvenated; you have just arrived in Paradise.

Wildlife, on the Island Trails

As you journey further along on the Island Trails you are able to view and observe much wildlife from a wide variety of exotic animals such as, galapagos tortoises, lemurs wallabies, cockatoos, monkeys and kangaroos.

You may also encounter observation areas that are glassed in where you can watch river otters floating on their backs as they frolic above and underneath the water. As well, a hippopotamus is swimming under water while large porcupines are munching on an afternoon snack of fresh vegetables.

Suddenly there is a clearing, and then, as if out of nowhere, there she is!  Standing erect with her 50 foot wide swirling branches reaching up as if to hug the sky. Fourteen stories high she stands. With a brilliant green canopy of umbrella like leaves gracefully swaying, like silent whispers she speaks to your spirit and welcomes you home.

Gasping for air you can't imagine for one moment the inspirational feeling of being one with all that touches and awakens your soul.  She provides an interconnectedness like no other.  She is,"The Tree of Life."

The Icon of Animal Kingdom -"The Tree of Life"

The Tree of Life Video

Disney has always been known as the Magical Kingdom, where story telling comes to life.

The “Tree of Life,” at Animal Kingdom branches outwardly, going beyond the ever so aspiring magical feeling. The swirling symbolic tapestry, encompassing over 325 hand sculpted animal carvings is an astounding tribute to the 10 artisans and 3 "imagineers".

These creative minds and artistic hands spent 18 months, working together to create this magnificent awe inspiring masterpiece.

Its’ gnarled roots of animal carvings goes deep into the earth where they blend into the lush landscape of flora and fauna. Brooks trickle through, waterfalls cascade down, forming small pools of water and deep green vines draping down graciously over the edges. It all blends together, creating a natural habitat to the various species that share this inspiring kingdom.

The swirling interconnectedness of the animal sculpted carvings is symbolic to the meaning of the tree of life. It's all about humanity with it's beauty coming together in a celebration of the heart to worship the fact that we are all one, connected to each other in one way or another.

A deep loving presence, bonds us all, through an interconnectedness to the animal world and all of the natural habitat on our planet Earth. The effect is to not only bring this concept to life but to provided an amazing emotional impact as you stand beneath this ever inspiring masterpiece, Hence her title, "The Tree of Life."

A Family Vacation of a Lifetime!

Getting back to the Magical part of Disney, in the base of this tree exists a movie theater where you can watch Disney's movie, "A Bug's Life" in 3D. Don't be surprised if you feel cockroaches "crawling" under your seat or get "squirted" in the face. These crazy "bugs" have been cooped up a long time and love a great audience.

There are many other adventures and thrill seeking rides at Disney's Animal Kingdom You won't want to miss the Kilimanjaro Safaris, where you climb aboard a rugged open sided safari vehicle. You’re off on a bumpy ride through Harambe Wildlife Reserve where you will see sightings of various animals such as antelope, white rhinos, cheetahs, giraffes and many more.

Expedition Everest is another thrill seeker that you won't want to miss, a high speed roller coaster ride with hairpin turns soaring through Mt. Everest.

There is something for everyone of every age and far too many spectacular fun filled events to see. I mainly focused on the Tree of Life, as this was the most sensational highlight of my journey to Animal Kingdom. If you haven't been there yet, put it on your list. It's a win - win vacation for every member of your family.

Reflections - "It's not the destination, it's the journey."

As every journey must come to an end, I have one thing left that I'd like to say. Standing in front of the "Tree of Life", drawing my hands together as if in prayer, I bow my head and say.

~ "Namaste!"

Article(C)2010 Sage Williams. All rights reserved.


The copyright to this article is owned by Sage Williams. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.

SAGE WISDOM

  • Blessings in Disguise are Gifts from the Soul

    "Delicately intricate, they were unique gifts; like threads of gold, interwoven through a tapestry of the heart. Unique gifts that will be cherished forever, as blessings in disguise or what I refer to as, 'Gifts from the soul'.â by Sage Williams - 4 weeks ago

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Comments 52 comments

sophs 6 years ago

This is brilliant Sage! I absolutely love it, I felt completely lost in your words, beautifull written I really enjoyed this, great work! :)


UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 6 years ago from Canada

You have the most amazing way with words Sage, they flow out of you with life giving vibrancy! I love it...and I loved the hub as well...very well done. Oh yes, what does "Namaste!"mean?

Blessings

UlrikeGrace


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

sophs - What a beautiful comment. Thank you so very, very much. Your comment is genuinely heartfelt.

Ulrike Grace -Your comment means the world to me and brought tears to my eyes. I can't thank you enough!

Namste - pronounced Namastay, is basically a simple gesture of bringing the palms of your hands together, before the heart and bowing the head.

Here is a definition that I like Namaste is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another. "Nama" means bow, "as" means I, and "te" means you. Therefore, Namaste literally means "bow me you" or "I bow to you." Definition of Namaste' taken from the Yoga Journal literature.

Thank you both so very much!

Sage


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

This is beautiful, I remember the first time I stood before TTOL with my two young girls....we were in such AWE! Thanks for bringing it back to mind. Peace :)


Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 6 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

I have this picture, it is so amazing I was in awe. Love this hub my sweet friend Sage, what artistry this took and leaves us feeling deeply touch.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

The Animal Kingdom is a wonderful place and you painted the picture well with your words, as well as, with your pictures. An excellent hub!


Mystique1957 profile image

Mystique1957 6 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela

Dearest Sage...

You just blew my mind away! The tree spoke to me as soon as I saw it. Couldn´t get enough of it! It is so magical, powerful, astonishingly beautiful. Geez. I love Nature!

Great trip, Sage!

Thumbs up!

Bookmarked, Rated and Stumbled!

warmest regards, light, love and blessings,

Al


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

Katiem - I am so glad that you have had the opportunity to see the TTOL as well. Just looking at the pictures on my laptop takes me back. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

Darlene - How sweet your comment is. I am glad the you have the very same picture and can reflect upon it.

Pamela - Thanks so much for your kind words. It is greatly appreciated!

Al - Wow! Thanks for your beautiful heartfelt comment and for taking the time to rate and stumble. I like you love nature and this was a trip that I will do over and over again.

Thanks so much to all of you, you really made my night!

Sage


RKHenry profile image

RKHenry 6 years ago from Your neighborhood museum

IE sent me over here. Good stuff Sage. Good stuff.


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

rkhenry - Thanks so much for stopping by and reading.

Sage


Keira  6 years ago

Hi my lovely friend, this is amazing, beautiful hub and the photos are incredible. I am in admiration with your work of art. A lot of respect for the wonderful artist that you are. Thank you for the beautiful journey. Have a nice weekend my dear friend Sage.:) Bless you.


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

Keira - I am so touched by your kinds words and lovely comment. Thank you so very much! The Tree of Life still holds much inspiration for me as I can recall quite vividly what my experience was like.

Hugs,

Sage


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

wonderful Sage, I can meditate there now, I can close my eyes and just breathe in. It is magical and thank you for sharing it with us. I like the quote in the last part of the hub. You sure know how to stop me from doing things and reflect, smile for me, and for you as well friend, Thank you Sage, Maita


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

Maita - You are so sweet and your comment just made my day. You are like a breath of sunshine.

till next time,

Sage


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

I haven't been there so I especially liked hearing about it, and you really made me feel I was there.


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

Sheila- thanks for stopping by so good to see you. I am so glad that you were able to get a feeling of what it was like. Thanks so much for your comment. It is greatly appreciate!

Sage


wordscribe41 6 years ago

Wow, what impressive photography, Sage! I'm already dying to go there, but after this hub I'm chomping at the bit. It sounds like the perfect place for families with small kids, like mine, there's something for everyone. I would be packing my bags right now if I had the money. Fantastic hub, Sage!


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

Wordscribe - Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. It is the ultimate dream vacation for all. They offer some really terrific deals, you just got keep watching. Hope you land one.

Many thanks,

Sage


LRobbins profile image

LRobbins 6 years ago from Germany

You did a wonderful job of painting a picture in my mind. I've been to Disney World, but never to the Animal Kingdom, I will have to go after reading your hub.


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

LRobbins-Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I really hope you make it there, it is absolutely wonderful.

Many thanks,

Sage


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada

Sage-- I must say make me want to go there right now, this is lovely the photos and the writing.


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. It's a great place to go I really hope you make it there.

Sage


Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 6 years ago from Northam Western Australia

That was beautiful, your words made me feel like I was actually seeing it with you. and your beautiful pictures made it so much more. I love trees, they just have so much character, sort of free and wild going with the ebb and flow of the wind. thanks for sharing


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

Eileen - Thanks so much for this beautiful comment. I am so glad that you liked it. I too have a love for trees.

Many thanks,

Sage


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

Hi Sage! Good am, I just woke up, the two last trees Sage must be very old ones already? I didn't come to listen and view the video lat time I visit here, and it is a beautiful video! Maita


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

Maita - So good to see you once again. I'm glad you stopped back to read further.

It is a beautiful day here as well. I am so ready for this nice weather. Thanks for stopping by and have a Great Day!

Sage


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

Good information. Those are great kingdom. We should give appreciation for that. Nice hub.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America

I love this Hub. Did I see a pig swimming under water? The tree carvings are fantastic!


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

prasetio- Thanks for stopping by and commenting. You are so right.

Patty - Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. It was a hippopotamus that you saw.

Your comments are greatly appreciated!

Sage


pmccray profile image

pmccray 6 years ago from Utah

Wow...this hub was fasinating and awesome. Your photographs are beautiful. I could stand at the carvings, waterfalls and tree of life all day. Rated and shared!


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

pmccray - What a beautiful comment you have left. Thanks so much for rating and sharing as well. You have really made my day. I am so glad that you enjoyed it. If you ever get a chance to go, please do so.

Many thanks,

Sage


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Too cool! I want to see this!


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

Wow, amazing, beautiful, astonishing: the tree of life, cravings, you text... Excellent Hub, I enjoyed it so much.

Thank you!


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

Habee - thanks for stopping by, if you haven't been there you really must do.

Tajana Mihaela - so good to see you, thanks for stopping by. Your comments are greatly appreciated!

Many thanks,

Sage


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

Sage, happy weekend and waiting for your new hub again hehe, Maita


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

Maita - Good to see you. I wish I had more time to write. I hope to get going on another one soon. Happy weekend to you as well!

Sage


Ann Nonymous profile image

Ann Nonymous 6 years ago from Virginia

Beautiful, Beautiful hub, Sage. I am enraptured by it all! Thank you sooo much for sharing with us...it was quite the journey!


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

Ann Nonymous -Thanks so much for your wonderful comment. I am so glad that you liked it.

Sage


Coolmon2009 profile image

Coolmon2009 6 years ago from Texas, USA

Beautiful Hub ! enjoyable reading Thank You :)


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

Coolmon - Thanks so much for stopping by reading and commenting. I'm glad you liked it.

Sage


poetlorraine 6 years ago

i loved this it was soooo well written.


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

poetlorraine - Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Your comment is greatly appreciated!

Sage


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

I woke up very early and thought of you, good am< just dropping by here and waiting for your next hub, take care, maita


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

maita - thanks for stopping by it may be awhile, I've been kind of busy lately. Good to see you.

Sage


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

You write from the heart and I continue to be amazed. :) I have only been to Disneyland Hongkong and so someday I would want to visit this one. Loved the photos you posted!

Love and light...


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

ripplemaker - So good to see you! Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. I hope that you get to Orlando some day to see the tree of life.

You have left such a beautiful comment. It means the world to me.

Thanks so much!

Sage


katrinasui profile image

katrinasui 6 years ago

Hey Sage! It is really a beautiful hub. Well done.


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

katrinasui - thanks so much for stopping by and comment. It is greatly appreciated! Sage


love2scrap profile image

love2scrap 6 years ago

Great hub! I just love the Tree Of Life!


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

love2scrap,

Wasn't it great! It blew me away. Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment.

Sage


love2scrap profile image

love2scrap 6 years ago

Hi Sage...I could look at it all day. :) And I can't tell you how many pictures I've taken. :)


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago Author

love2scrap - Oh, I know, she's simply breathtaking. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Your comment is greatly appreciated. Sage

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