Trees have become a very powerful guide for me as I navigate through my own life transitions. About four years ago I found a book called, Seasons of Change by Carol McClelland, Ph.D. The book is based on the concept of using nature’s wisdom to help us grow from adverse and even crisis-type events. The premise is that life transitions, including adversity and crisis, progress in a natural cycle, just as nature itself unfolds. Because this metaphor is so powerful, Lisa and I are both certified Seasons of Change coaches.
One significant tree that has helped me through my own struggles is a neighbor’s cherry tree right outside my door. Years ago when we first moved into our home, this tree would blossom every spring and during the winds, as her flowering blossoms shed, they would remind me of little ballerina tutus flying in the air.
However in the past 4 to 5 years, this tree seemed to have contracted some kind of disease. I was sad when I saw our neighbors had many of the branches cut away. I was expecting that one day soon someone was coming to cut down the trunk and eventually remove the remaining stump. But each year passes and it’s still here with us.
This tree is special to me because it represents such resiliency. The damaged trunk and branches remind me of people who have had disease, heartbreak, adversity or crisis. And yet somehow her inner spirit of resiliency has found its way out.
Life is about facing challenges. For some, we have become broken or weakened from the loss of a loved one, loss of a dream, of a belief, or of hope. And for others, we may face storms that are so tragic that we can never imagine it possible to overcome them, but something in us prevails. In all cases, we are never the same. This neighboring cherry tree of mine surely shows what resiliency can look like. In it, I see hope and inner strength.
Lastly, here are photos of a few other trees I took around my neighborhood. I’ve jotted down my impressions of these trees as it relates to many of our life journeys. Tell me if these trees represent anything different to you. And the next time you are strolling around, take a look at the trees and see if you might connect in some way yourself. I receive an incredible amount of strength from the wisdom that trees and nature offers. And now, I hope you can too.
This reminds me how important it is we support our young children and teens.
… and this tree reminds me how we need to care for the elderly.
When I saw this dead branch on this otherwise strong and healthy pine tree, it reminded me how we need to shed old habits and let go of ways of thinking or behaving that no longer serve our best interest.