Lessons From Trees

We live in the woods. Each spring, as our snow melts, we assess the winter wear on our trees. Some have fallen, others, snap in half, some die, new trees sprout, but most stand strong and true, strengthened by the depth of their roots and the harshness and strain of winter.

A few big ole’ pines and a few huge quaking aspen trees were too close to our house. As difficult as it was, they had to come down. A monumental task, Roger and our sons, like skilled woodsmen, notched, sawed, directed and pushed each over with an excavator. Each fell exactly as it needed to. Then the liming and clean up, stacking, sorting and sharing with friends and neighbors for their winter firewood. Whew! What a project. But, we are no longer worried about a catastrophe, and our view has been opened up to view more beautiful trees!

Now it’s fall and the colors here in Wyoming are nothing short of spectacular! The mountainside seems on fire with yellow, gold, burgundy and peach trees, lined with rich dark green pines. I love trees. And not just to look at – but to learn from. A few weeks ago, I wrote about how we can learn from trees the importance of Letting Go! There are so many more lessons we can learn from the magnificence of trees. Here are a few that have taught and inspired me.

Photo Credit: Wayne Grantham

Trees always grow towards the light. Trees grow outward to escape the overshadowing foliage above them, and then upward to absorb the greatest possible sunlight. Trees, like almost all living organisms, need light to survive and to thrive. They will do all in their power to soak in as much sunlight as possible. We are all creatures of light and naturally strive to – seek out goodness and positivity – away from darkness. Seek the light.

Trees grow in forests, rarely in isolation. If you think about it, in nature it’s very unusual to see a tree standing alone. They almost always congregate in groves, and over time, groves may become forests. Trees thrive in a complicated ecosystem. There is an interconnectedness among the varieties of wildflowers, bushes, shrubs, trees, fungi, mosses, birds, rabbits, deer, and other creations that are there. They all interact and rely on one another for food, shelter, and a synergistic and social environment. We need one another! Lessons From The Sacred Grove

Trees draw strength from the nutrients created by previous generations of trees. It is essential that the dead and dying leaves, fallen trees and stumps remain to decompose and enrich the soil.  If removed, precious nutrients, essential to the vitality and growth of new trees, is lost and trees become weak and straggly. I am grateful for the strength I glean from my ancestors. I enjoy learning about them and from them. Knowing of their experiences and sacrifices, their joyful times and their challenges has enriched my life. Family Search


Trees need opposition to thrive. Trees survive through diverse circumstances like a lightning strike, a powerful gust of wind, a heavy accumulation of snow or ice, the encroachment and abuse of careless humans, and even sometimes the aggression of a neighboring tree! Having to fight for light, nutrients and space encourages deep roots and creates strong, stable trees.  We too can learn to not only survive but thrive through our own struggles.

May I encourage you to take time this season to enjoy the beauty and magnificence of trees  and ponder the lessons they teach. My takeaway, put down deep roots, branch out and seek light!

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