The Story of the Resting Tree

 
The Resting Tree at my backyard in early Spring

The Resting Tree at my backyard in early Spring

 

Sitting by the window...

I was having a quiet moment to myself. My head was still spinning from thinking about my to-do list for the week. As I began to  redirect my attention to my surroundings, my eyes were drawn to the trees as its remaining leaves were blown away by the wind gusts. I was feeling a sense of dread as I thought to myself, "Sigh, when is winter going to end?" 

So I continued staring at that one particular tree, imagining how it might appear come Spring, Summer and Fall. I beheld its beautiful sights in my mind and started reflecting upon the amazing qualities of the tree. Although it was cold outside, the tree remained sturdy despite its bare crown. All was stripped away and it appeared as dead as it could be.

Yet I knew I could not simply believe what I saw then. Somewhere deep within the tree of winter, there is still life. It didn't look like it because the tree had entered into a dormant state. And dormancy is the resting state that plants enter to protect themselves against winter cold and drought. Without resting, the tree would not survive, let alone be as impressive and giving in the coming seasons. 

In today's age, we are learning to be more productive with our time and resources with the help of technology and information. At the same time, we desire to reach our career and personal goals - striving harder to achieve happiness and purpose in what we do. We want to be bearing fruits and flowers, giving lumber and shade - we want to present our best selves to others all the time. Yet we often forget that an accomplished life would also mean that we are able to rest and be rested - not just physically, but emotionally, mentally and spiritually as well. 

It is common for us to know what it means to rest when we feel tired. We take a nap, have our favourite snack, soak in a hot bath or indulge in a luxurious vacation. Unfortunately, sometimes we struggle to feel rested even after a seemingly relaxing self-care routine. Thus when we are back to the grind, we feel easily wound up again. Stress, frustration and anxiety creep in. Why? Or perhaps the question is, how rested is your mental health? 

The state of being rested, or "restedness" is defined as being calm. What goes on inside of us is like the roots of the tree.  Trees grow deep roots in order to be strong and produce beauty.  We are rested when we are assured that regardless of the changing seasons, our roots are still firm and safe in the ground.  We would be at peace with the fact that in life, there is a time for everything - a time to flourish, a time to let go, a time to rejoice and a time to cry. Instead of having a flurry of activities, we are not afraid to face winter and take time to be still. When we are rested, we are patient to wait for spring to come; because we have faith in who we are and what we can offer to the world around us.

With that brief reflection, I felt inspired - winter still isn't my favourite season, but I certainly grew to appreciate it more.

 

All the trees are losing their leaves, and not one of them is worried.
— Donald Miller