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"Hug A Tree" by Rolly A. Chabot

Updated on March 8, 2016

Morning Welcome

I have officially declared the end of winter and usher in the arrival of spring... so take that "Old Man Winter"... you have had your turn.

My this has been a long one. It started mid October here and there has been no let up whatsoever $6. People all around me are frustrated and this last dump of and has not helped what so ever. The fellow I have hired for clearing snow has had little break and he has earned his pay. Reminder to self, slip a little extra into the envelope and remember to say thank you.

OK so onto spring, we welcome you and for all who have found their way into the Fireside Chat you will understand what I mean by cold and excessive weather. Now you are welcome to sit outside on the deck or if you prefer the comfort of the Fireside. In any case please make yourself at home and be comfortable. Above all else know that you are loved, take a blessing with you when you leave and of course leave one in return.

Be careful of the Quigley, she is rather caught up in the warmer weather and is full of energy. Never think you can get away without tossing a ball or two. It is her life so be prepared. Gather around and settle in for a few minutes of my ramblings.


Our Friends

Do you ever think much about the lowly tree. No matter where it stands it stands with pride and is very huggable. Hug a tree you may say, what has this crazy Canadian lost his marbles. Well maybe but lets stop for a minute and think of where we would be without the tree.

It has brought us comfort for many years. For most of us it is hidden behind our walls covered in drywall and other coverings. It is hidden from sight and yet it is there. It has provided us with security and yet we fail to think of its value in our daily lives. It is the basic construction of our homes and we should be more thankful and offer the tree more respect.

I sat in a National Park several years ago and watched a scene unfold that sickened me. It was a dad teaching his son the fine art of axe throwing. The recipient of the abuse was a large tree that had stood the test of time, only to be scarred with each accurate toss of the axe. Many were just glancing blows but no matter the pain must have been felt.

Much to the dismay of the dad I had to step in and say something. The best he could do was stand in defiance of the intrusion I had made. His stance spoke volumes of his intent. The shocking part was his son did just as his dad, he stood taking the same stand. It was as though how dare you say anything. By the end of the conversation the dad turned to his son and spoke these simple few words. "Son we should think again about what we are doing, this man is right."

Sadly that same tree a few years later still stood proud. Battle scarred but still stood proud to live another year and continue to grow. Its wound were displayed for all the world to see at what a senseless act could do. It had healed itself and the sap it bleed had healed what had been done to it but not without scars to prove it had survived.



I often look at nature and compare it to life. Some may call me crazy and out of touch but that is Ok, it is where I stand. Nature is where I found myself again and the relationship I have with her is in perfect balance.

Take a look at what we do to each other in the context of the tree I mentioned earlier. We have all been that tree, the one that has been abused. We all wear the scars of the words and actions of others. They are real wounds in our lives and yes we wear the results. They are often hidden in the replies we have when people ask how we are. "Great, never better, could not ask for more," and yet down deep inside we continue to bleed. We suffer on the inside and sooner or later the scars become visible in the way we live our lives. Far to often in my life and the lives of the many I have encountered the true pain and suffering is revealed. I have seen it far to often in people I have done ministry with. Once the source of the pain is revealed then the healing can take place.

You see nature will speak to us if we are willing to look deep within her. The scar on this tree can speak volumes. I have no idea what caused it and yet look at the damage that has been left. It is a survivor of what ever has been done to it. It has taken the step we all need to take in life. It has spoken I will never be beaten. I choose life over death and I bear witness to any who come along. These are my wounds and I display them for the world to see.

There is nothing false about what we see here in this picture. It is real and it is the real life of this tree. The impossible pain this tree must have suffered at the time has stood the test of time and look at the result. Can we be the same, yes we can and we can show the world of our strength by saying yes, I refuse to be beaten down and I forgive for the wrongs done to me.



I was asked a few years ago to be the Pastor at a friends church while he and his family took a much needed break. I had spent hour upon hour preparing a message. The morning I stood before the congregation the message I had was tossed like ashes from the wood stove. This church had been suffering with many things as my friend had shared with me and it was apparent in all the bright shining faces that looked at me. Sadly the faces also told another story.

My question I posed that day was simple. They did not need another sermon, what they needed was to be touched. "Does anyone of you recall the old western movies where when a new Sheriff came to town, one of his rules were to check your guns at the door of the Saloon." It was the starting point of suggesting we all check our masks we wear at the door and walk in just as we are. Not meaning we are to bring the world down with our burdens and need but maybe by being open and honest about our struggles we may find some peace within ourselves. "How are you doing," Have you noticed we always respond in the same way. "Oh man, never been better," or "Man I have never had it this good." Yet deep inside we hurt, we have genuine concerns but the mask always stays in place.

In the four weeks I taught at the church it was an amazing experience as the bright shiny faces began to change. They became faces which displayed the pain, the hurts and the great need. When the Pastor returned he called after his first Sunday back and asked what I had done to his people. His words were, "They have actually stopped and talked to me with needs, cares and concerns."

The masks we wear hide the true inner people we are. They become a badge of pride that "I" in me is just fine becomes a falsehood and soon we begin to believe we are just fine. It is one of the many challenges we will face in life when we ask ourselves the question. "Am I really and truly the person I portray?

Next time you are walking out among the trees, look for the scars of our friends who display them so well. When you get back home, back to work or look at those around you ask yourself this question. "Is there anything I can do to help stop the people around me being hurt...Is there something I may say or do that will cause pain?

Just a random thought for the day my friends... know that you are dearly loved at the Fireside and appreciate your comments and input. Remember to hug a tree and thank it for what it provides... hug a friend or a family member in the same way but with true feeling and love. Leave the mask at the door...

Listen closely to the song below and may it fill you with peace and leave a message n your heart... Hugs

© Rolly A. Chabot


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    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 19 months ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Days Leaper...

      Thank you for sharing such a personal insight into our relationships with trees. They are such a part of our lives and yet we pass them by without taking the time like you to say hello.

      I had an old Crabapple tree as a child I would simply sit in and watch the clouds above pass by with their fanciful shapes. I called it my dream tree, the funny thing is that same tree still lives on.

      Blessings from Canada

    • days leaper profile image

      days leaper 2 years ago from england

      Very Interesting and philosophical. And yes they do touch the heart. As a child I liked Soccer. And would love nothing more than to kick a ball about outside the house. We used two trees for goalposts, these were there for aesthetic value, it wasn't enough for a wood or anything. Having long since moved away from that street I happened to be walking passed the old house one day at the opposite side of the drive. The aunt still lives there and I was looking to see if she was in. When suddenly this feeling of recognition hit me strongly, a feeling I can't describe but was overwhelmed. The aunt and I never got on, and this seemed to definitely be coming from the trees. There was no-one else around. If it hadn't been a public place I would've got a chair from somewhere and just stayed there. I didn't hug them as such, but I did go over and say hello, and spoke a bit about past, and the two nasty bullies who used our mutual interest in soccer to just cause more and more trouble! "I managed to get away from them in the end" I assured the trees. I wish now I'd found some way to continue the hobby, but at the time just had to get out. Now Im ill, and any exercise at al is very hard! Anyhow, thanks the opportunity to share this. I was sad to depart, but had to get on with my life and besides I got self conscious talking to and patting trees. It seems a very human thing to do?

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 3 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Thanks all for your comments... as always they touch the heart. If there is one thing I have learned through life is to forgive and move on. Should you fail to do so for what ever reason it can be painful.

      I do think one of the best quotes I have ever heard is "A grave is no is simply a rut with the ends kicked out." The interesting part is that same rut will hold you back only as long as you allow it.

      We are called to move on and move on we shall, should we see another struggling then we are to lean down and help...

      Hugs to all

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 3 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Thanks kamalesh050 and aviannovice... wonderful for you to take the time to say hello and leave your comments...

      Hugs from Canada

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 3 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Jodah... Thank you for the comment and welcome to the Fireside. You are so right about what a tree can do for us and what they offer. I so appreciate nature and all she offers, especially the trees.

      Hugs from Canada

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, people hurt one another quite frequently. One word can hurt, yet another can heal.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 3 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Jackie... a true lover of trees and nature you are. One of the many reasons we love you so much. I so appreciate your photos in the past as you capture the best of the best. Hug a tree my friend... Thanks for the comment...

      Love, Hugs and Blessings fro Canada

    • Kamalesh050 profile image

      Kamalesh050 3 years ago from Sahaganj, Dist. Hooghly, West Bengal, India

      Hats off to you for this hub - written and prsented Brilliantly. Keep up your good work my friend and have a good day.

      Best Wishes, Kamalesh

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I love this Rolly and needed to read this wonderful message today. I love my trees and treat them as friends, This hub actually reminds me of a poem I wrote "Death in Paradise". People need to realise that trees are living things and give much more to us then they take. We need to show them care and protection and in return they will give us oxygen, clean air, bring rain, protect the land from erosion, and provide a home to birds and other creatures. Thank you for this "Fireside Chat".

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Hi Rolly; great to see you back. Beautiful writing and may just inspire a poem from me if I can find the time at all for surely I am a lover of trees of every kind. Flowers are my favorite to photograph but big stout trees like the oak with so much age have a beauty without even a leaf don't they? I could very well be a tree hugger I think!


    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 3 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Bravewarrior... Thanks for stopping by and saying hello and I do hope you found some peace here. You are so right about standing tall and offering comfort to those around us. Far to often life takes over and the busy wins. It is in these times we need to stop and reflect on what is important and what is not.

      Hugs as always

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 3 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Faith Reaper... hugs as always and thank you for all the kind words. You have such a heart for people and it shines through in your words as there is always love attached to them. You are a true blessing to people whom enter into your life....

      Hugs and Many Blessings

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 3 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hugs my friend Always... dealing with the masks we wear is a very difficult thing as we move through life. Drop one and we seem to readily pick up another, polish it off and slip it on. I do believe it is part of our nature and we all do the same. Thank you for the comment and the open heart you have. Know that you are welcome at the Fireside at any time and I will certainly pray...

      Hugs and Blessings

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Excellent message, Rolly. We can get through whatever comes our way - good and bad. The key is to be honest with ourselves and those around us. And to stand tall, giving life and shelter to those in need.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Dear Rolly,

      I love your random thoughts! Beautiful message from a beautiful person with a big heart for all.

      Thank you for sharing from your heart. Please take care and stay warm. I hope hugging those trees provides some warmth!

      Peace, love, blessings and many hugs always

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This was such a beautiful message Rolly! I lost the top of my weeping willow tree this year and I felt sad. Sometimes it's difficult to remove our mask's, it takes time and determination to move forward and let the past go, I'm working on that. Pray for me. Thank you so much.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 3 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Alicia... Being close to nature has been a blessing for me over the years. Being able to see ourselves in the same light has certainly had an impact on me and my own personal healing.

      Your comment has touched me and hopefully it may help others...

      Hugs from Alberta... look to the East... big wave from over the mountains.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 3 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Billy... thanks for the comment, thinking I should slip outside in my cutoffs and shovel snow while the neighbours are all bundled up doing the same... you know start some small town talk... enjoy what you have my friend...

      Hugs Bro

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a lovely and touching hub containing such important suggestions, Rolly. The way in which you have described the link between a wounded tree and a wounded person is very effective.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Those masks you speak about nearly killed me. Now.....Mr. Transparent. :) Great message on this sunny morning. I just had to say that about the weather. LOL Have a superb Tuesday, Rolly.

      hugs from Oly

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 3 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Morning Eric and thank you... know tat you have nourished this Canadian...

      Hugs and Blessings

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      What a wonderful way to start my day. I will go out and hug my trees today. But I will also give them a good washing and enough water to reach their roots.

      I will try to give somebody that same nourishment and care.

      Thanks for the warmth beside your fireside.