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.


  1. Basabidi - since you asked for feedback, here's some honest opinion (A) You wrote - "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." --- The basis for "instinct" are the messages from our body and mind... So in order to live on instincts we have to listen to the messages from these sources... To be spiritual you override your instincts and listen to your soul. (B) Trees shed leaves to reduce metabolism and go into dormancy.... that's all. The temperature induces reduced metabolism, which in turn causes leaves to shed.. So, it is more outward-in, rather than inward-out as you have described.. Regards - Anindita

  2. You are right Anindita //The basis.... messages from these sources.// I have realized now that the soul includes the body, the mind, the gross, the subtle, the causal and everything else within itself. Pain felt by the body and the mind is not devoid of soul. The reason why there is so much pain in the world is a reflection of the pain that the soul is 'untouched' by but 'sees'. The ego and the material world is just as spiritual as the soul lets them be! As for trees going into dormancy - yes it is a very scientific material explanation of a natural phenomenon, but I wonder what came first the need to survive that led to dormancy or the need to be dormant leading to survival? I choose to believe that everything is an outward expression of the Inner Soul - this comes from my personal life experience and may eventually prove to be erroneous but the stage at which I am now in my spiritual development I believe nothing starts in the material!

  3. I love trees and intuitively sense that we can learn so much from them. The stillness of the forest is especially poignant for me for there is wisdom in silence.

    ~ Thank You ~

  4. So true Cathy! Their silence and their continuous giving must be appreciated! Thx!