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Lessons From a Tree

Updated on June 7, 2018
Gina Welds-Hulse profile image

Student of life, lifelong learner, mother, writer, artist, poet, dancer, musician, and martial artist ... passionate about all of these.

Lessons from a tree!

“Nature is man’s teacher. She unfolds her treasures to his search, unseals his eye, illumes his mind, and purifies his heart; an influence breathes from all the sights and sounds of her existence.” ~Alfred Billings Street

With Fall/Autumn upon us, I have thought frequently about leaves...the ones on the trees and the ones that will be falling causing me to get out there and rake frequently. However, Fall has also taught me something else...it has taught me a simple lesson about Life...to imitate the trees.

Let it go!

Trees teach me to "Let it go!"

Many trees lose their leaves in the Fall in preparation for Winter, and to be able to recover in the Spring. We, as a people, must also learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that... nothing stays the same for long. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go!

Let it go!

Be flexible!

Trees remind me to be flexible.

The trees that bend a little to the harmless breeze will later grow to withstand the wild wind. Being from the Caribbean, I have also watched many tress bend and sway during the strong hurricane force winds, and still remain standing. I always marvel at the strength of those trees that withstand the storms, and grow to be even stronger after.

Similarly, as humans, if we maintain a degree of flexibility in our attitudes and viewpoints we will not be broken in any storm of criticism or opposition.

Flexible trees and people, alike, survive the storms of life.

Dig deep for reserves!

Trees teach me to dig deep for reserves.


Trees also teach me to dig deeper inside for reserves, in preparation for the Spring that's just a few months ahead. Greater things are coming!

Keep growing, even in times of limited resources!

Trees teach me to keep growing, even in a period of limited resources.

Several occasions come in our life when we have to fight on our own. We feel like we are all alone in our fight against whatever challenge we face. Even the nearest and dearest ones turn their back, leaving us all alone. At times, we get the urge to quit and give up on our dreams. We wonder if we can go on.

Trees tell us to have faith in ourselves and keep growing with whatever we have in our hands. We may have very little resources. We may have very little money. All we may have is the roof over our heads, and a little food in the refrigerator. Trees tell us that “nothing can defeat you if you don’t shrink at the time of trouble. Instead, we need to muster up whatever strength we can. We need to gather enthusiasm from our miseries, and push forward, knowing that there are better days ahead. Trees remind us to grow regardless of intense difficulties, roughest weather, hardest places and heartless circumstances.

“Solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow strong.”Winston Churchill

Keep going! You are STRONG ENOUGH!

Remember your beginnings!

Trees teach me to Remember my beginnings.

The branches remind me often of the family tree that I'm a part of, reminding me of the strength from which I'm descended. I am reminded to not be intimidated by small beginnings. Mighty oaks do indeed grow from little acorns. Efforts, when enriched with strong motivation and determination, will grow to fruition. Remember that the mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground.

The mightiest trees that stand tallest don’t ever feel intimidated to grow up from a humble beginning.


Develop your roots!

Trees teach me that Trees with weak roots are destined to die.

Some tree grow fast with the providence of nature and never grow with strong desire. Neither can they stretch their branches towards the essence of life – sunshine – nor grow their roots extensively deep down the earth. As a consequence, they die sooner without making a mark. Young and small trees have to grow by taking inspiration from the taller, stronger and old trees.

Trees remind me to never let the people with low self-esteem, small dreams, lazy desire and short vision ever wander around you. They themselves are small, so how will they help you to ensure your vision reaches it distance?

Remember to look toward God today!

Trees remind me to look at God all day!

The branches of the trees seem to reach toward Heaven, as if in prayer. This is a constant reminder to me that no matter, I should always remember to look towards God during each day. It does not take that much effort to reach my hands toward Heaven, and whisper a prayer, and remember the Creator, while admiring nature.

Remember to pray!

Trees teach me to Remember to pray.

Trees lift their branches, as if in prayer, throughout the day, reminding me to always remember to pray.

This poem by Joyce Kilmer, written in 1913 is one of my favorite:

"Trees" (1913)

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Plant seeds of faith!

Trees remind me to plant seeds of faith.

Trees constantly produce fruit which contains the potential for another tree of its kind. Trees remind us to plant seeds of faith. Throughout our lives God is constantly planting seeds of faith in our life and calling us to also plant seeds of faith in the lives of others, on an ongoing basis.

Value the little things.

Trees remind me to value the little things.

Leaves cover the trees for the majority of the year, until Fall comes. These leaves provide comfort, shade and "clothing" to the tree. Although the leaves are small in most cases, they provide a huge service to the tree.

It is so in life with us humans. We must learn to value the little things. These could be a handshake, a postcard, a smile. To us, it might seems a small thing, but to the one receiving it, it could be a major life-changing moment.

Value the little things!

Don't be defeated by Life's difficulties!

Trees remind me to not be defeated by life's difficulties.

Trees teach me how to deal with difficulties and yet stay quiet, patient and flexible.Trees have to fight against the external dangers and enemies throughout their lives. Storms break their branches, hurt their roots and different parts, take their leaves and push them to the verge of death; yet they grow older and glow riper. They remain green in heart, stunning and always wise. They are exposed to elements that seem to badly hurt them for their lifetime. They fight the drought, avalanches, diseases, and thousands of natural disasters, wild storms and floods, but they stand still and strong., showing us that it is possible to grow stronger, and fight against the tyrants or elements and win.

“Storms make trees take deeper roots.”Dolly Parton

Never give up!

Trees teach me to never give up!

Trees teach us to never give up no matter how the events or circumstances of life bend us, twist us, gnarl us. Its the trees that survive the seasons and the storms of life that become solid at their core. They hold their ground and are not easily swayed. STAY STRONG. If you’re hollow on the inside, you’re going to buckle when the storms of life arrive.

Trees tell us to have a ‘NEVER GIVE UP’ attitude in most desperate and chaotic times; indulge in the quest for wisdom to stick to the truth; have courage to fight against the harshest hit; and develop a valiant heart, ready to strive and stumble but get up and win.

Don't forget to protect the Earth!

Trees remind me to rely on the Earth!

Trees are one of the greatest resources of the Earth and the most gracious and faithful company if and when we take the time to get among them. They offer shelter, delicious foods and beautiful life, give us fresh strength by purifying the air and teach us wise lessons to live a happy and motivated life. They serve humanity in every possible way only to return our single help of seeding them. However, we have come to a point where we no longer seem to care about our planet. Trees are cut down in such vast numbers, and we no more feel their pain when we tear their leaves. We no longer hear the scream when we chop them down. We no longer hear their joy when the wind is high. We have become shameless in our acts of deforestation and thus, our own destruction.

You've got potential!

Trees remind me that I've got great potential within me

Within each of us there are the seeds of greatness or failure. So, are you focusing on growth or decay?

“You're alive, Bod. That means you have infinite potential. You can do anything, make anything, dream anything. If you can change the world, the world will change. Potential. Once you're dead, it's gone. Over. You've made what you've made, dreamed your dream, written your name. You may be buried here, you may even walk. But that potential is finished.”
Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book

When the farmer plants his field, he takes care to prepare the soil. He determines what it needs to nourish a certain seed, and whether it is the right time and conditions.

He doesn’t plant a large plant, but instead just a tiny seed. That seed has the potential to become something grand and wonderful – and productive. But there is no guarantee that each seed will grow, so the farmer plants several.

"In the seed there is nothing but the seed - no diversity. At the same time there is the notion of potential diversity [of flowers, fruits] supposedly present in the seed. Even so, cosmic consciousness is one, devoid of diversity; yet the universe of diversity is said to exist only in notion." Sage Vasishtha

Shine where you are planted!

Trees remind me to shine where I am planted.

There are many times when we struggle to shine or bloom where we are at the current time, but we need to remember that we are not dependent on the validation, or attention of others. In the end if we are never noticed, it does not change our purpose or calling.

Life is such an amazing gift, but many people today are living their lives lacking the joy, peace, and contentment.

We can't always choose the cards we have been dealt, but we can learn to play them. Like a flower that grows through a crack in the concrete, sometimes we have to make the best of our situations and bloom where we have been planted.

You may not be where you want to be in life just yet. You may be working a day job that is not your passion and working on your dream through the night. However, we need to keep our dreams alive because this is what uplifts the human spirit.

Every step that we take in life prepares us for the next one.

Trees remind me that nothing stays the same. Change comes.

Trees CHANGE with the seasons, adding an array of splendor as they GROW more patient. As trees grow, they extend themselves. They branch out into the community, offering shelter to creatures in need. What will you do for your community? Who do you know of in need that you can help?

Change is coming!

It's okay to be different!

Trees remind me that it is okay to be different.

We're all aware of the variety of trees that exist. Trees can teach us about diversity. Trees do not compete with each other. They do not all look the same, yet they seem to work together to accomplish their goals, sometimes interlocking roots to protecting themselves, even though they may be of a different species.

We can certainly take a lesson from the trees. As a diverse nation, we should learn to work together, using our differences as the glue that holds us together, and work together for the benefit of the community as a whole.

Face challenges courageously!

Trees remind to face challenges courageously.

As Helen Keller once said, "Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature,
nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits
in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.

How many of these fears are holding you back? How would you live if you had no fear at all?

In our day-to-day lives, the virtue of courage doesn't receive much attention. It seems to be a quality or characteristic that is reserved for soldiers, firefighters, doctors, nurses and those who fight. Security is what matters most today. Perhaps you were taught to avoid being too bold or too brave. It's too dangerous. Don't take unnecessary risks. Don't draw attention to yourself in public. Follow family traditions. Don't talk to strangers. Keep an eye out for suspicious people. Stay safe.

No doubt there are real dangers out there, but there is a big difference between being reckless and being courageous. Courageous people are still afraid, but they don't let the fear paralyze them.

Find happiness in every season!

Trees teach me to find happiness in every season.

Enjoy every moment of life. Trees rob the spills of sunshine, drench in the heart-felt silver drops of rain, tremble when the wind sweeps through them, dance the in remarkable summer and swirl, weave, and toss their branches in glorious courage in spring. Their happiness is never ceased in front of lifetime difficulties and the songs of life never end.

Problems and difficulties are inevitable part of life but they can’t stop us from stealing the very moments of happiness without our conscience and consent.

Don't complain about the situation that you're in!

Don't complain about the position that you find yourself in.

Trees are deeply rooted in the present moment, and are actively engaged in their own legacy. They make many great contributions. What can you contribute right now to make the world a better place?

Absorb wisdom from other sources!

Trees remind me to absorb wisdom from outside sources.

One of the things I loved to do when I was younger was sit down and listen to the leaders of the community, including my great-grandmother and other older relatives tell stories of days gone by.

It was always important to me to learn from people who had walked the path before, to garner the wisdom they had developed as a result of their experiences.

Trees' roots reach down into the soil to get the nutrients they need to allow them to grow, just as how we reach out to the leaders or those people who know more, to garner food for thought, or wisdom. Trees also absorb their nutrients through their leaves. We should not rely on just one source, just as the tree has multiple sources of nutrients, leaves and roots.

Be a source of shelter to others!

Trees remind to be a source of shelter to others.

Have you ever experienced taking shelter under a tree? It not only offers a peaceful rest but also sets everything for our delightful state of mind and entertains and serves its guests. It provides cold breeze with leaves, sweet fragrances from flowers, quiet hours to have perfect relaxation.

Don't be jealous of the other trees!

Trees teach me to not be jealous of other.

The main reason we like trees is because they are both beautiful and majestic. No two are alike. Different species display a seemingly endless variety of shapes, forms, textures and vibrant colors. Even individual trees vary their appearance throughout the course of the year as the seasons change. The strength, long lifespan and regal stature of trees give them a monument-like quality. Most of us react to the presence of trees with a pleasant, relaxed, comfortable feeling. In fact, many people plant trees as living memorials of life-changing events.

Practise teamwork!

Trees remind me to practice teamwork.

In forests, individual trees support one another. Whereas even a giant Sequoia growing by itself could be blown over, by interlocking its roots with other trees around it, Sequoias are able to stand as a grove against any wind. How much support do you share with those around you?

Trees have extensive root systems and can even go hundreds of feet down into the ground to reach the source of water and grow higher and stronger and touch the sky.

Teamwork can accomplish much more than the sum of individual efforts, often making the difference between success and failure.

Spring is coming!

Trees remind me that Spring is coming!

Trees remind me to not be discontent with what I have been blessed with, to stand tall, stay strong, to shed some teary leaves...... and to Let it go. No matter what your "winter" trials may be, remember, Spring is coming!

Spring is coming!

© 2015 Gina Welds Hulse

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    • Haroon Shehzad profile image

      Haroon Shehzad 

      2 years ago from Punjab Pakistan

      Nice article, nature was the first teacher of man but now it is a forgotten thing, these days people rely on science instead of nature

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you for extracting these powerful life lessons from the trees. My favorite: Trees remind us to grow regardless . . .

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