Friday, November 4, 2011

Tree Teacher

Nature is instinctive. She knows exactly what is needed for who and when. The first snow storm of this winter season was just another proof of this truth. The snow came on hard for a stretch of over 12 hours. The temperature was not very cold but the volume of the white stuff meant that the snow stuck to whatever it fell on. The roads were salted by the authorities a day in advance, people ensured their groceries were stocked, stores were prepared with extra products. This time around though, the trees were completely unprepared!

I have often wondered why the trees bare themselves before winter while most winter beings try to cover themselves up to stay warm. I have always marveled at the trees all around this wintery land for their resilience in their cycle through the seasons. I have used trees as my example for recovering from hard times and continuing to be, inspite of seasonal extremes. Not once did I think that the shedding of leaves was the basic survival instinct of trees!

The trees shed their leaves so they can live through the onslaught of snowfall. Snow cannot fell trees that have no surface for them to sit on. Branches are rounded and have a much smaller surface area than leaves, pine needles too have a smaller surface area and so unless there is an ice-storm (which changes the dynamics completely) the snow cannot cause trees to break. This last snowfall felled many heavy branches all over the East Coast and with them brought power lines down too. The sheer volume of lines down posed a challenge to power suppliers and left thousands of homes and some businesses without power for days - some as long as a week. I must congratulate the authorities for keeping their priorities in order and ensuring that hospitals and other essential services were attended to first and also for providing the true picture to their customers about when to expect power. It gave consumers the opportunity to plan their days accordingly.

As I said Nature is instinctive and if we open ourselves to our basic instincts and stop over analyzing the messages we get from our body, mind and soul this world would be a much more peaceful, joyful, fearless place to live in.

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