What Trees on a Country Road Say About Life
For a practical viewpoint on life, walk the country road in autumn; and if you must ride, designate a driver so you can look up and around at the trees you pass by. Away from the multi-lane traffic of the city your speed decreases, your awareness increases, and you realize that the trees are telling a story—your story. They explain your life as well as other sages can.
Down the Country Road
First, notice their friendly approach, for in order to teach you they must reach you, and they intentionally pull you in:
- waving hello with their branches
- throwing kisses on their falling leaves
- winking at you through the itty-bitty glimpses of sunlight
- embracing with their spreading shade
- stimulating with their cool breeze and sniff of combined earthy fragrances.
Just cuddle, if only mentally, within the bosom of the trees and listen to their viewpoint on the beauty and purpose of their lives and yours.
"You dear traveler, need the roadside trees like your lungs need air; in fact, we contribute to the oxygen which keeps you breathing. In the city, you become obsessed with fallen trees in the form of structures and furniture, because ownership of them give a clue to your financial capabilities. On this country road, we invite you to appreciate the priceless benefits we provide in our live form. Just to name a few:
- Each of our mature members, fifteen years and over, absorb one ton of carbon over his or her lifetime; worldwide, we soak up one fifth of the world’s carbon emission.
- Most of us can grab up to 57,000 gallons of water during a flood and prevent it from running off.
- We produce clouds and clouds produce rainfall.
"We're not boasting. Just reminding you that you spend so much time struggling to make a living, you neglect these kinds of ready-made blessings. Plus, in our presence, your anxieties retreat and peace makes an entrance. We add meaningful leisure time to your days, and happy thoughts of reflection to your evenings. Please take advantage of our stress-less offer as often as you can."
"Bordering the pathway, you notice some daring evergreen bushes showing off their invincible strength—like brave, energetic, defiant youth. They do not participate in the changes caused by the autumn season. They may be short in stature compared to the giants of the forest, so they create a tall contrast. They really stand out beside those of us with changing, falling leaves!
"Do they remind you of your stance during your early years? You were out front, displaying your determination to succeed at life. Your gorgeous looks gained you some points. In the process, you learned that evergreens can display strength during the cool of autumn, but suffer damaged roots and even death from the winter freeze. Looks began to matter less, and soon you became curious about deciduous maturity. You changed not by conversion, but by promotion.
"Now you look at the 'evergreen' youth and say, 'Been there, done that.' Evergreen shrubs on the country road recall memories of discoveries and inspire gratitude for surviving the complexities of early life."
The Many Other Colors
"You realize now that there are only two labels for human beings—naïve and experienced. The naïve are like the evergreen bushes, tempted to believe that they can live forever. The experienced are richer and wiser having learned how to maximize life during shorter days and less sunlight; they can handle decidousness.
"The beauty of autumn is a complicated array of red, orange, gold, brown and purple with graded tints of each color. The green chlorophyll which gives the leaves their usual color overpowered these other colors until the light of short autumn days becomes insufficient for photosynthesis. Now that the other colors appear, look how many varieties there are!
"Can we the trees share a viewpoint here with you? Some of your inherent qualities remain hidden when green is the color of your energy and effort, and your main concern is career and finances. When circumstances weaken and slow you down, use whatever measure of strength you have to keep standing. Find within the other colors which your busyness pushed aside—the red of love, the blue of peace, the purple of imagination and more. Maintain your elegant poise in the autumn of your experience and continue to share your unique blend of beauty with the world."
Fallen Leaves Can Still Be Useful
"You probably find bliss in the sight of golden leaves strewn across the country road, knowing that you do not have to rake them.
"However, if you are committed to green living, a few bags of fallen leaves will supply mulch for your garden. They can also be used for insulation around basement walls and for protection of potted plans from winter frost. Truth is, when leaves retire from the top of the trees, they can still be useful.
"You may be asked to retire from an assignment due to loss of capabilities, or because someone with more appropriate skills is found, or because the job is completed. Whatever the reason, please do not surrender to feelings of hopelessness and uselessness. When gravity pulls you down, fall gently without a struggle. You will last longer. Your spectators will admire your golden poise no less than they admire the beauty of autumn."
Talk Back to the Trees
Which of these statements are you most likely to say to the trees?
Beyond the Trees
"The trees you see on any country road are a minute fraction of the 23,000 different kinds of trees in the world. We are the largest, and some of the oldest living organism on earth. We could not establish our status on your planet without a Creator and Sustainer.
"While in our company, you are likely to meet a bird, a squirrel, a deer or any creature which inhabits the great outdoors. If you raise your sight to the treetops, you are likely to see a shiny reflection of the sunlight on our leaves. Sometime it is possible to view the direct rays of the sun, or the moonbeams if you dare to make your trip at night. If you really want to see the splendor of the stars, drive through when the moon is hiding.
"We’re just saying that we are not alone in our purpose to reflect the magnificence of our Creator. We have our own ways of expressing our appreciation for life. Feel free to find your own way to express yours."
© 2015 Dora Isaac Weithers