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"Hug A Tree" by Rolly A. Chabot
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.
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
- "Tree Song" sung by Evie Karlsson - YouTube
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