Taught by Trees

I have just come back from a walk in the park across the road from where I live. West Park is beautiful - well designed and well cared for. I love watching the birds on the lake and the squirrels in the bushes. And of course, I love watching the trees. I have already written it: I love trees. They don't do very much (on the surface anyway) but they certainly are there.

Trees inspire me to let the seasons of my life be reflected (or manifested) on my external appearance and on my outward behaviour. In some ways, regular bi-polar fluctuations are a form of seasonal recurrences. Thinking of them in this 'natural' way makes it easier for me to deal with them. I have a high season and a low season, an out season and an in season, a communication season and a silence season, a sleep season and an awake season. I realise I might be a bit greedy having eight seasons but I am sure trees won't mind. Eight seasons it is then.

I must also say that I am not bothered about ageing. In a society that is obsessed with looking young at any cost, I am often bemused by the extent people will go to in order to look younger than their years. I can honestly say that this does not interest me, even if I love make-overs of all kinds. For me the important thing is to look your best, and that means first and foremost looking healthy. When we look healthy, we look good to start with. After that, clothes, hairstyle (and make-up) either enhance or detract from our best selves.

Trees are very lucky. They look good naked. They look good in bloom and in leaves. They even look wonderful when they loose their leaves. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of us humans who don't look so wonderful when we loose our teeth or women our hair. Men on the other hand often look fantastic with little or no hair, providing they don't succumb to the dreaded comb-over. In autumn, trees don't comb-over and humans should follow their example....

Trees also remind me that I need to stretch my arms out and plant my feet firmly on the ground. I have a tendency to close my arms around my body when I feel low - a bit like a self protective hug. Only last week, my counselor J encouraged me to open my arms in order to help my energy flow better. In kindergarten, little children often play at being trees and it would do us all good to play that way too. Stretching our arms out is such a wonderfully expansive gesture!

Time to stop writing and play tree. I think I'll be a chestnut tree today. Stretch those arms out....

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