Sometimes I just can’t help noticing the often-unnoticeable objects in everyday life. And when I do, I usually find myself wondering how the nature and characteristics of that object’s life relate to mine. Strange, perhaps, but then again, I live in New York, and when so many other things are screaming for attention, I’m apt to give mine to those that aren’t. And so I noticed a tree today…

It seemed to be quite a tall, strong and well-structured tree, flourishing with big, beautiful leaves. From the base of the trunk it was obvious that the tree was very well rooted, and even when a relatively strong wind blew its way only a few of the outer branches and leaves gently swayed with it. I was quite sure that, short of a severe hurricane, nothing could uproot that tree. In some ways, I felt I could relate. It seems that the more rooted we are in ourselves, and in whichever value system we adhere to, the less likely we are to be shaken by challenging events occurring in our lives – the gales, hurricanes, and tornadoes which try to set us off our course.

Having a value system would probably equal the tree’s strong roots, but that alone would not be enough. The tall, strong trunk could be paralleled with the need for self-confidence, for what good is a value system (roots) if we don’t have the strength to stand up for it – for that which we base ourselves upon? Both the trunk and the roots of the tree are mutually beneficial to each other’s survival, just as our value systems and self-confidence are.

And then I wondered, what if a severe wind or storm actually did uproot that strong tree, what then? Could that same tree find life again? Most likely not if left abandoned after being uprooted. But, assuming the damage was not terminal, that same tree could regain its vitality after being replanted and reconnected with its source, where it could once again flourish and grow. For it is the roots that matter most, allowing us not merely to stand for something, but to stand, period.

In life, many people, circumstances, and challenges will come and try to sway us in a direction other than the one we feel most comfortable taking. Who we are, what we base ourselves upon, and how we hold ourselves will all determine how we react. Do you want to be a leaf that will likely be swept up and carried off with whichever way the wind decides to carry it, always being unsure of the destination – not to mention, most likely forgetting where you’ve come from?

Or, would you rather be a strong, sturdy tree, proudly rising tall and knowing where you stand? When the wind blows, you acknowledge its breeze with a gentle sway of your branches but continue to stand your ground. When the sun shines, you welcome the warmth and respite it provides. And when the rain begins to patter on your leaves, you accept the soak and, through the temporary discomfort, still recognize the blessing that it brings.

Believe in something,
Hold your ground,
bE a TrEe