How a Tree Can Teach Life’s Greatest Lesson

Just days before the first snowfall of the season, I decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and went for a walk in the woods. Lucky for me, the trees were still woodsdressed in their autumn best. Leaves of red, orange and gold painted a lovely picture of autumn in New York.

I recently took up photography and so brought along my camera on my walk. Each step through the woods brought me to a new moment waiting to be captured. The leaves falling from the tree was a sight to see. The way the fallen leaves floated on the creek. A fallen tree that once stood in its glory now lay along the floor of the woods, but still ever so beautiful.

squirrellAfter a few minutes into my walk, my mother, waved me over but motioned with her finger to tread quietly. I walked to where she stood and followed her finger that was now pointing ahead of her. There on a sturdy branch sat a little squirrel eating his afternoon snack. I carefully held up my camera and started to take pictures of this beautiful creature. He knew very well that I was there, as he glanced at me a few times. Intuitively, he knew when I had enough pictures because just as I felt satisfied with what I had captured, he scurried off into the woods.

I’ve always believed a great power exists within the woods. There’s a special communion between the trees, the animals and flora. There’s a world and a language that only they understand. We humans can be privy to this magic if only we stopped, looked and listened to their whispers.

Eckhart Tolle once said, “Seek out a tree and let it teach you stillness.” The greatest magic of the woods can be found in its stillness. The way a tree stands so tall, firm and rooted to the ground beneath it serves as a reminder to stop once in a while and be still. The chaos of life can make our minds feel dizzy and clouded with responsibilities and deadlines. It can give us a headache as we listen to the chatter within our own minds. It can cripple us as we bear the loads of others.

My advice to you this week is to set aside some time and go for a walk at your local park. Find an area away from the hustle and bustle of the neighborhood. Find a tree. Any tree. I usually feel a pull to a certain one. Let your intuition guide you. Sit on the ground with your back against the tree. Feel the stillness of the tree. Listen for the leaves rustling in the wind. Close your eyes. Feel the magic. Listen to the language of the woods.

And may the stillness of a tree help you find the peace that you’ve been looking for.