Think Like a Tree


 

Greek Strawberry Tree (Cyprus Strawberry Tree)...
Greek Strawberry Tree (Cyprus Strawberry Tree). Fruits. Photo taken in Laspi bay (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Think Like a Tree

 

I wasn’t ready for life’s road stretching out before me,

 

It wasn’t as fun as I expected it to be,

 

I whined, I complained, until I learned,

 

The lessons taught by an old fruit tree,

 

In the middle of an orchard the tree quietly stood,

 

He was the oldest and wisest in that neighborhood,

 

Although ancient and twisted his heart was still good,

 

 

 

I questioned him thoroughly about things he knew,

 

From seedling to adulthood, all the years he grew,

 

“Tell me your secret for being young so long,

 

How did you endure when things went wrong?

 

And how did you manage to stay so strong?”

 

 

 

The tree scratched his head, then smiled at me,

 

“Life will never be easy, as you can plainly see,

 

Adjust and be positive, and think like a tree,

 

There are a few things you ought to know,

 

Trees serve others and they’re not for show,

 

If a branch is barren or doesn’t grow,

 

There’s no reason to keep it, just let it go,

 

A tree needs to compete to be the best around,

 

But if it bears no fruit, cut it down,

 

It’s tragic to waste good fertile ground,”

 

 

 

He hesitated and drew a deep breath,

 

“If a tree produces it’s still not left alone,

 

It’s pruned each year even while grown,

 

It will be healthier and productive, a fact well known,

 

Often a tree tries too hard,

 

When too much is produced a tree must be thinned,

 

The remaining fruit will grow larger,” he said as he grinned,

 

“But if there’s too much fruit the limbs might break,

 

How soon, how much, it’s something a gardener must tweak,

 

A tree doesn’t want to be crowded,

 

It needs space to be free,

 

A tree needs to improve constantly, don’t you agree?”

 

 

 

I was ashamed of my previous actions,

 

Because I had been thinking only about me,

 

The way the old tree explained it I could see,

 

Life is not as harsh as I made it out to be,

 

If I need to be pruned to produce more in life,

 

I’ll adjust and be positive and think like a tree.

 

 

 

The Garden of Diminishing Returns


 

chart of peter camejo's diminishing electoral ...
chart of peter camejo’s diminishing electoral returns (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

There were cantaloupes, squash, tomatoes galore,

 

Green beans, watermelons, green peppers and more,

 

Growing fast, trying to crawl out of sight,

 

I thought I could hear the garden growing at night,

 

But in the mornings when I checked the plants,

 

The vegetables were half eaten and covered with ants,

 

No matter what I tried or wherever I turned,

 

The results were the same—-diminishing returns!

 

I sat out in my chair with my dog on the lawn,

 

Hoping to see some critters, I’d wait until dawn,

 

Ground squirrels were scurrying, rabbits came dancing,

 

Cicadas were chirping, deer were prancing,

 

Everywhere I looked there was some kind of motion,

 

The garden was alive with activity and commotion,

 

Chomping new flowers and munching new shoots,

 

They were all dressed up in their evening suits,

 

There was a call to order and they all sat down,

 

The biggest rabbit was worried, I could tell by his frown,

 

“We’ve got to control our classes at school,

 

There’s been multiplication against the rule,

 

Deer have been entering and then going out,

 

I’m not sure what’s that all about,

 

And the squirrels have been going nuts,

 

So there you have it, no ifs, ands, or buts,

 

We’ll have to move on and find new grounds,

 

This garden will be tagged as “out of bounds”,

 

But if we destroy too much we’ll soon learn,

 

One small garden yields diminishing returns,”

 

They thumped out a vote and gave him a hand,

 

It was clear they agreed with his conservative stand,

 

The majority was liberal enough to see,

 

If they harvested carefully there’d be enough for me,

 

I did my share, toiled all my life,

 

Built up my security without any strife,

 

I planted, watered, and tended to more than enough,

 

I thought if they wanted, they could help me with stuff,

 

I explained to them I still have lots to learn,

 

But I don’t like the idea of diminishing returns.

 

 

 

 

 

A Frozen Flower and Me


A poster with twelve species of flowers or clu...
Image via Wikipedia

I found a
frozen flower,

As I walked
beside the pond,

Its petals
spoke of summer,

Its fragrance
lingered on,

I picked it
up gently,

For I feared it would break,

I whispered
to it softly,

Perchance it
would awake,

Its petals
softened one by one,

Within my
warming hand,

I thought I
saw the blossom smile,

At first I
did not understand,

But the
reason became clear,

As it gave a
blissful gasp,

I had freed
it from its prison,

And loosed
the icy grasp,

What meaning
could there be,

As I
compared the flower to me,

What could I learn from one flower,

When I freed
its awesome power?

 

Our words
were warm but empty,

As we walked
beside the pond,

We spoke of
our love in summer,

And now the
memory lingers on,

Our love was
so much like a flower,

With petals
soft and warm,

It had
flourished in the summer,

But dared
not face fall’s storm,

When an icy
wind began to prowl,

Slipping
around corners while it kissed the air,

Our love
couldn’t stand the chill,

As summer
gave way to the cold,

Words alone wouldn’t warm the heart,

We had been
so very good together,

But we could
not last apart,

If we just
look past winter,

With the
first advent of spring,

Perhaps our
love will blossom again,

And we’ll
see what fruits it’ll bring.

 

 

“Skipping Pebbles Through Life”


discover your destiny

Skipping Pebbles

One day as I
traveled through the woods,

I saw an
ancient man sitting by a pond,

I wanted
directions to leave the woods behind,

But he challenged
me to think beyond,

“It’s easy
to get lost in the woods,” he said,

“Where do
you want to be?”

“I’m off to
make my mark on the world,

And discover
my destiny,”

His eyes
glowed with a strange fire,

As he smiled
and replied with a deep sigh,

“You’re
young, with so much to learn,

But I know
you need to try,”

With a grand
gesture he pointed to the pond,

“I’ll show
you what a pebble can teach,

About your
impact on the world,

And all
those goals you think you’ll reach,”

“First, don’t
think you’re so important,

You’re like
a pebble dropped in a pond,

See the
rings this pebble made?

Just listen
quietly before you respond,”

“Your
influence spreads outward,

Making several
concentric rings,

Your impact
lasts just a short while,

Before the angels sing,”

“What if I
am flat and make several skips?

I’ll cover
more area on my way,

There are
several places where I’ll touch,

Leaving several
circles on display,”

“But what
difference will you really make?

Look, as I skip
this stone across the pond,

See the
rings that are left behind?

Now they are
going, going, gone,”

“Just like
life’s fleeting ambitious dreams,

They’re here
for the moment but gone in a flash,

Goals that
you accomplish only for yourself,

Are
forgotten after the splash,”

“But a
pebble you throw for someone else,

Becomes more
than a rock you fling,

It allows
them to rise above the pond,

And helps them
find their wings,”

“So as you
go to discover your destiny,

Remember the
pebbles tossed across the pond,

And the
ripples they leave behind,

If you want
to leave a mark you have to reach beyond,”

“And help
others become more than they are,

Allow them
to dream of love and things,

To escape
that which holds them down,

And fly with
new-found wings,”

He waved
goodbye as I started forth,

A purpose showing
in each step,

I promised
to help others fly above,

And it’s a
promise I have kept,

Now when I
look across a pond,

And see the
surface smooth as glass,

I feel
within me there is a skipping stone,

But calmly I
let the moment pass,

There are
opportunities to make my splash,

And I could
make my world, all about me,

But I’ve
chosen to lift others up,

That is my
chosen destiny.

The Mighty Oak and the Quaking Aspen


Quaking Aspens Populus tremuloides, Little Cot...
Image via Wikipedia

Two towering trees, their branches interlaced,

Lovingly caressed as the wind continually paced,

The wind carried their whispers to and fro,

They were rooted while the wind could go,

The two had been together since long ago,

When the young oak noticed the aspen starting to grow,

He being more gnarled and taller, was gruff,

She being slimmer and delicate, was still tough,

Despite wooden hearts, they developed rapport,

And soon their feelings progressed even more,

They were happy their memories were shared,

To each other their hopes and dreams were bared,

He loved the way her leaves fluttered in the breeze,

She loved his strength and the way he could squeeze,

Through the years they saw a progression of change,

With a variety of people, mean, good, and strange,

The Indians came and respected the land,

They honored the trees and let them stand,

They could picture their ancestors peering out,

Hunting the forest and walking about,

Then a newer group arrived one day,

Who cut down and burned away,

Most of the great forests and trees,

Creating farmlands as far as they could see,

Leaving only a few trees in small groves,

And even those were good for stoves,

These two trees, once fresh and young,

Watched helplessly as the axes rung,

 They were left because they were so mismatched,

They were glad since they were so attached,

Now they stood guard at this secluded spot,

Sentinels against the sky, whether cold or hot,

Visitors were usually welcomed with open arms,

The trees had years to develop their charms,

Urging some of their guests to rest and dally,

To observe nature and let their strength rally,

Spend the night out under the stars,

Singing campfire songs and playing guitars,

On their way home those same guests would stop,

Visit awhile and their stories they’d swap,

Those guests wanted to know the history of the trees,

Would there be answers if they said please?

How long had these trees been there?

Had the trees witnessed enough to compare?

There were other visitors though,

Who thought the forest was just so-so,

They were rude and eager to make their mark,

Carving their names into the bark,

Breaking off all the lower limbs,

Just being destructive at a whim,

 Littering the area with all kinds of trash,

Eggs in nests they would always smash,

Ruining in a day what had taken so long to create,

Beauty of any kind they would desecrate,

The trees moaned and groaned in protest,

Wondering how to get rid of these awful pests,

The hostile visitors said it was but the wind,

Ordering the old trees to be silent again,

Havoc and mayhem ruled the day,

As the unruly visitors had their way,

The oak and the aspen were carved and scorched,

And both came close to being torched,

When the group left, the trees breathed in relief,

Hoping they’d never return to give them grief,

That group was gone but more would take their place,

It was usually that way with the human race,

But they trees withstood the onslaught with aplomb,

Always dignified, peaceful, and calm,

The valley eventually became a national preserve,

And both trees volunteered to serve,

For their heartwood was still strong,

Retirement for them was simply wrong,

A few years later a mighty storm struck,

Their roots held desperately, but not their luck,

Both trees crashed heavily to the ground,

People from everywhere, miles around,

Came to see the giants as they lay,

For there was more than two trees on display,

There was something unusual, something strange,

The way the trees had fallen out of range,

Directly into the wind they had spun,

Away from people, no harm was done,

They had crushed no one, no child or mother,

They had fallen instead into the arms of each other,

Around each trunk, seedlings appeared overnight,

Smiling and greeting everyone in sight,

Some seedlings were transported to faraway places,

It is said that people who see them have happy faces,

The oak and the aspen still live in legend and tales,

 Showing kindness, compassion, and a love that prevails,

The new trees will bring magic and couples will discover,

The traits of the giants in the hearts of their lovers.

While Blossoms Are Exploding


Cherry blossoms (sakura), often simply called ...
Image via Wikipedia

The air is alive with angels as they are gathering,

 Sweet nectar from the blossoms exploding,

Don’t you hear them humming and singing?

 I do, but I am under the trees quietly lying,

As they zip about, to and fro, always watching,

Even in the trees their shadows are glowing,

Occasionally one will stop to see how I’m doing,

Then about her work she’ll be going,

I’ll try not to notice when pollen is sticking,

And shiny and golden in the sky they’re flying,

The pollen looking like gold dust as they’re shaking,

As they return spinning to earth I’m laughing,

About the beauty of spring they’re still praising,

It’s such a joy, don’t you think, to be listening,

 As they hum and sing while blossoms are exploding?

My Life Will Not Be a Stagnant Pond


A picture of a pond in a residential garden.
Image via Wikipedia

In my dreams there was a pond not far beyond,

Where everything stopped, no frog hopped,

It was there that it was said it’s better to be dead,

Not much can live, no life to give,

Few signs of activity, the home of negativity,

What went in never came out,

It was a resting place for shame and doubt,

A deathly silence engulfed the air,

And I faced my own reality there,

Things I never did hung over my head,

Conversations I never had made me sad,

Risks I never took deserved another look,

I just waited for life to begin and end,

A bystander remembering talents never used,

Ignoring all that were battered and bruised,

Weeks became months, months became years,

The only signs of life were my tears,

When I woke I danced, for I had a second chance,

My life was a gift and others I could lift,

I decided to take the initiative and lead,

Crossing those barriers that might impede,

Building relationships that were filled with trust,

Flowing and active, living a life that was robust,

Not a stagnant pond, for I’ll keep moving on,

Celebrating life ongoing, reaching out,

No longer is there any doubt,

It’s not about me after all, for I heard the call,

Not frozen in fear but trumpeting loud and clear,

Caring for the young, the homeless, and the weak,

Always wanting it to be the truth I seek,

I’ll sleep under the stars, rail against wars,

Be active in my home and community,

Instead of stagnation, choosing generativity,

My dreams won’t be about what I haven’t done,

But about all the victories won,

And I’ll be happy to encounter challenges each day,

Growing, flowing, alive in every way,

My life stream teeming with life along the banks,

For this second chance, I dance, and give thanks.

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