Strength and Endurance through Tree Hugging
And now you are likely wondering, is she a tree hugger? Truth be told, yes, I am. And I love every minute of it. The energy exchange between the tree and me is unexplainable. Try it! There is an unconditional love exchange which is difficult to put into words. I’ve even communed with the small trees planted around Ground Zero in New York City. They have a lot to say and can bring humanity hope in a seemingly hopeless world.
While visiting the 911 Memorial Park, I was taking in the elements as my sons and I quietly absorbed our surroundings. There was a feeling of reverence and sorrow for the tragedy and loss of lives, human and otherwise. Whomever designed this beautiful memorial must have researched the meaning of the elements. The sound of the continuous flow of water in the manmade infinity waterfalls reminded me of the flow of life: falling and rising, life-giving, gentle but powerful. I felt the whisper of a breeze carrying the heavy, ominous spirit away and filling the space with a reverent holiness. I reflected on all of the lives lost, not only those who worked in the Twin Towers but also the lives of the emergency crews, and people who were in the surrounding area gripped with fear. A gentle feeling of hope was now emerging through this beautiful memorial. I noticed the stately beauty of the 400 trees surrounding the pools. I paused for a moment and asked one of the trees what she represented. As my hands took in her pulse, I clearly heard, “strength and endurance.” I thanked her and honored her for sharing. A volunteer later told us the trees were not native to New York, but were Swamp Oaks brought in from Virginia. When I looked up the metaphysical meaning of “oak,” I read “endurance, strength, longevity.” This confirmed exactly what I had heard.
Onsite, there was one other significant tree. This radiant Pear Tree was surrounded by a fence. She had been retrieved a month after 911 by rescue workers. She was buried in the rubble and debris. At one time, she had stood outside of the North Tower. The rescue workers saw signs of life and removed her. She was relocated to her temporary home in another park in NYC. Ten years later, she was brought back and affectionately named the Survivor Tree. She stands as a reminder of the resilience and perseverance of all survivors.
Once again, we find ourselves in the midst of a tumultuous time. The lives lost throughout this pandemic far out number those lost on that devastating day almost 20 years ago.
Finding the inner strength and endurance to come through these perilous times is crucial to the survival of our species. Take time in the days and weeks ahead to be in communion with the trees. Be open to commune with them and allow them to teach you about the capacity to endure. It is here that you will experience the unconditional love of the universe that will bring you resilience and perseverance to survive these challenging times.