Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Learning from Nature


Feeling good today.

I was out on the front step yesterday and I noticed something that really got my attention. What was it that got my attention, a tree.

Now, my street is lined with stately Elm trees that tower, I don’t know maybe 60 or 70 feet above us. These trees are on both sides of the street. Their long branches extend so far out above the street and as they are coming from both sides, it creates almost a canopy affect as you drive down it in the summer, when the leaves are fully out. It really is beautiful.

Here it is still early enough in the season that the leaves haven’t even begun to bud. As you look at the trees as they stand today they could appear stark and barren, lifeless. As they line the street on both sides from my step I can see 15 or 20 of them. For some reason yesterday, I felt compelled to sit down and just look at these, “lifeless” trees. They are barren devoid of all foliage. I was really seeing the tree itself and not just the leaves that it can hide behind in the summer.

I was seeing the tree for what it really was, unhidden, undecorated by the leaves. The more I looked the more I saw the beauty in each tree individually. I saw the intricacy of the branches, the shapes they formed as they extended from the tree trunk or from larger branches. The designs they formed are beautiful to see and no 2 were the same.

Some how it almost felt like I was seeing the essence of the tree, the beauty contain within. Unhidden by the leaves that are soon to come. I have been back out there this morning just to gaze in wonder at the rare beauty contained in the trees.

It is like I saw them in an entirely different light. In the past I realize that I only did seem to see beauty in a tree when it was totally leaf covered. How wrong I was!!!!

My mind does tend to wander at times. (I have been told, I shouldn’t let that happen as it is too small to go off by itself). lol, my attempt at humor for the day. I began to wonder, if in the past I have seen people in a similar manner. I mean I didn’t appreciate the beauty of something as simple as a tree unless it was completely camoflaged and hidden by leaves. How many people have I only seen the camoflage or the front they are putting on. Never getting to see the inner beauty, the essence of what is inside. In fact I know I have. How are we to see past the face that people put on, what about the inner beauty hidden inside. The more I think of this the more sad it becomes to me. How many of us are hiding behind some sort of camoflage, putting on a false face, not letting the world really see who we are, see the true inner beauty. A lesson from nature, we really don’t have to hide our inner selves to be beautiful.

There was one tree in particular that caught my eye. It infact did have a very unusual shape to one of its branches. It is a reasonably large branch that leaves the tree trunk heading in a general westerly direction. Suddenly, about 12 or 14 feet from the tree truck, it abruptly make a 45 degree change in direction and suddenly goes straight up. I thought that to be quite unusual for such a large branch to suddenly make such and abrupt change of direction.

I realize that for some reason or another at some point in the past, the branch had been cut off at the point where the direction changes. At some time a person, for what ever reason decided they didn’t want that branch growing in that direction, took a saw and cut it off. Now for a minute try to use your imaginations.  Now apparently Mother Nature’s plan was for that tree branch to grow in a westerly direction. Now for what ever the reason was as some point a person got involved and decided they didn’t want that branch there and just cut it off. Well Mother Nature obviously quick realized, “my life plan for that tree isn’t going to work, huh, I suppose we had better adapt and to to plan B. We will have to have the branch sprout at the end and this time it will grow straight up.” That branch could have just withered and died but it didn’t, it resprouted and changed directions.

How many of us could learn from that tree. When our planned path in life is suddenly cut off from in front of us, do we wither and die or do we resprout and change directions.

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3 Responses to Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Learning from Nature

  1. planetcity1 says:

    You are a lucky man, Bill; first to learn so much from one evening of looking at trees, and secondly for knowing what an elm tree looks like — unfortunately,
    half the elms in the states succumbed to Dutch Elm Disease beginning in the 1930s. There are an awful lot of towns with Elm Streets in ’em, but unfortunately, elms no longer line those streets.

    I have an oak tree in my yard that has a piece of chain embedded in one limb;
    the tree naturally grew around the chain until it is no longer visible to the human eye.

    p.s. — that wandering mind thing is a sign of a creative mind 😉

    Hi planetcity, you are right I have said it myself many times, I am a lucky man.

  2. Mel says:

    I think I need to read this a few more times.

    Not because of buying into the facade that others put up, but because of the one that I can stick up from time to time.

    The ‘naked’ tree is a powerful image. Perhaps I need to study some of the ones out front.

    Hi Mel. As always you give me reason to stop and think. You are so right about the facade we put up for others to see. Often we need to, but one example I was a banker for years, when I went to work I put on my banker face. I was thinking more about in relationships.

  3. Cat says:

    What a beautiful post. I love this analogy and the way you came up with it. It’s amazing what we can learn sometimes if we just sit still and listen. 🙂

    hi Cat and thank you for your nice comment. You are so right about how we can all learn and the lessons are literally all around us. We just need to at times stop and see.

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