July 16      

Today's quotation:

They [trees] do not call to anyone, neither do they send anyone away.  They give shelter to whoever cares to come, be it a man, woman, child, or an animal.  If you sit under a tree it will protect you from the weather, from the scorching sun as well as from the pouring rain, and it will give you flowers and fruit.  Whether a human being enjoys them or a bird tastes of them matters little to the tree; its produce is there for anyone who comes and takes it.

Anandamayi Ma

Today's Meditation:

Trees provide us with not just beautiful metaphors, but also practical benefits that make our lives richer and fuller-- and even possible.  After all, without the oxygen that the trees produce, would any of us be alive today?

I love sitting in the shade of a tree on a summer day, knowing that the tree is supporting tons of life.  Often, I can even hear the bugs that are living in its branches and feeding off its leaves.  The shade feels beautiful, especially when the day is very hot, and the tree asks me for nothing in return for the shelter it provides me.  Yet most of us take trees for granted because we see them so much.  To most of us, they're just there, and we don't appreciate them nearly as much as we could if we gave more thought to what they contribute to us.

I try not to ignore trees because they're such a vital part of the lives that we lead and because they're such beautiful parts of our world.  Looking closely at a tree can contribute to our sense of wonder in this world, especially when we keep in mind that this large tree originated from a very small seed, just like us.  It's important that we take care of them, too, because we've caused a lot of damage to their home, the planet Earth, and we need their help if we're going to ever recover from that damage.

Find a tree to adopt.  Sit in its shade and listen to the breezes and winds that make their ways through its leaves or needles and branches.  Watch it in the winter as it makes its way through the cold months.  And realize that there's much we can learn from trees if we only take the time to pay attention to them and appreciate the many wonderful gifts they share with us.

Questions to consider:

Why do so many of us take trees for granted?

What kinds of gifts do trees give to us humans?  Do we fully appreciate those gifts?

Why do we seem to feel that trees don't have as much of a right to life as we do?

For further thought:

A tree is beautiful, but what's more, it has a right to life; like water, the sun and the stars, it is essential.  Life on earth is inconceivable without trees.

Anton Chekhov

more on trees



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