Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Tall Trees: A Solstice Sharing

"Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take nothing of what you have received ... only what you have given: a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage." ~ St. Francis of Assisi

Whether stately arising amidst the old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest, deeply rooted into the rushing waters of the Amazon, or gracefully leaning along the grassy slopes of the African savanna, the trees of the world invite us to rest beside the silence of their living presence. Trees are the standing beings. Strong and flexible, they grow steadfast in their own authenticity; still, they garner the power to weather the shifting ambiance of the seasons.

To more fully understand the splendor, flowing through the hush of the forest, we only need go within and become aware of our own heartbeat. As the rhythm of our inner pulse quiets the mind, we begin to see all of existence through our souls' eyes. As such, we look and listen with our entire being... and in so doing, we rediscover that we are interconnected with the grandeur of the living canopy, the richness of the soil, the small patch of clear blue sky overhead, and the golden light streaming through.

This discovery is the majesty of heaven in which everything we witness becomes sacred ground simply through our recognition of its holiness. With appreciation, we remember to count our many abundant blessings. Likewise, we acknowledge that whatever is happening, no matter how seemingly dark, is a gift. And so we live with the treasure of a full heart.

On this solstice morning, take a walk into the forest and learn from the tall trees. Whether you live in the North where the noble Red Oak rests dormant under a blanket of snow-covered beauty or Down Under where the summer breeze carries the spicy fragrance of the Eucalyptus in all its evergreen glory, the magnificent trees of the Earth convey the very truth of our being: we are the children of Grace. May we honor our spiritual heritage, stand firm and have courage, move with the flow of life, share our love freely, and offer patience and compassion always.