Trees live in a world of change, while remaining rooted in the deep darkness. They stand bare in the cold blustery winter storms. Their leaves and buds sprout with the onset of spring rains. The sun and heat of summer entices the flowers to bloom and the fruit to ripen. As the days get cooler and the winds blow, the leaves and fruit drop from the branches and then winter returns. Once again, the tree stands bare and exposed to the elements.
The life of the tree is similar to ours.
We can go through the smaller cycles of the seasons and weather changes many times during one life. Then, in a larger sense, as one lifetime, the spring can be youth, summer is adulthood, fall represents midlife, and the winter as the elder years.
We have been conditioned to look at the seasons and weather we experience in life with judgment. Positive things happen during the sunny days, and rainy days are identified as when negative things happen. Strong winds that break off a limb might be perceived as tragic. The seasons, as related to the deterioration that is a part of the ageing process, is generally presented in our culture as the older one gets the worse it is.
Change is sometimes perceived as difficult. Letting go as a challenge. And life, it has been said, is for the young.
The part of the tree that remains unaffected by the weather and seasons is the part of the tree that is not visible. The roots are in the dark silent stillness, while above ground the trunk may sway in the wind, as the leaves are blown from the branches, and the tree is pelted with rain.
When we root our awareness in the stillness and silence of ourselves, that which is unseen to the world, we remain undaunted. Seasons come and go. The weather changes. We age. Still we remain rooted in that which is changeless. If we base our sense of selves on that which is seen, that which is impermanent, we can be battered by the natural cyclical ebb and flow of life. When we stand in that which is permanent, we remain immune to what happens in the outer world. We are fully engaged as we witness life with our sense of self based in what is eternal. That is the ever-present Source, which is the deeper root of our being.