Lessons From a Tree

A few years ago in a shocking turn of events, I lost my husband very suddenly. It was such a huge shock to my system that I felt unbearable grief and slipped into a state of depression.

I was extremely aloof and withdrawn during this time period and I had absolutely no desire to meet or talk to anyone. My family, in an attempt to alleviate my pain and suffering though, tried their best to cheer me up, make me laugh or bring me back to my ‘normal’ self.

But everything had changed. I was present with them physically but mentally I had checked out.

I often used to sit outside in the balcony by myself to get away from it all. I would talk to myself a lot, reflecting on the past. My mind played back the time-reels of all the great moments I had spent with my husband. They would make me both cry and laugh!

It was on one such day in February, while sitting out, that I noticed a tree that had been there all this while. It had been standing proud and tall all these years. It was barren, completely stripped off any leaves, nothing, and it seemed gloomy, like it had lost everything and had no life left in it—yet it was standing tall, against all odds.

It looked a lot like I felt… Like a depiction of where I stood in my own life, completely broken and shattered.

Just a few days later, I saw tiny leaves sprouting from its branches, signs of fresh, new life emerging! And how the tree transformed suddenly! It looked happy and excited to welcome these young, new members of its family! From its recent dark, dry, lifelessness, it now carried a renewed spirit with its fresh green leaves swaying gently in the breeze. It was magical!

I felt it call out to me in a deeper way, a silent communication to gather myself and stand up again… It was time to heal and move on with my life… To emerge from the past stronger and move into my present and future with courage, and to raise my children, the most precious gifts from my husband, with that freshness in my spirit too!

Looking at that tree, I had the realisation of how strong its roots truly are. It loses everything — its greenery, its leaves, and yet every year it starts out afresh, every spring. It’s always giving itself and stands tall through all the seasons, no matter what comes its way.

We, too, must be inspired by this great strength in nature and stand with courage against all odds; through the many challenges life brings us, maintaining a sense of balance and equanimity through it all.

Like the waves in the ocean, we go up and down with circumstances and situations, but it doesn’t matter what comes our way, if we can maintain our inner equilibrium and learn to handle every situation with grace, to start afresh every single time and move into a beautiful and brighter future.

Life is not about what we have lost so far… It’s about what we can still grow!

Live. Love. Laugh. Give 😊

PS: A special thanks to Vanika Om for editing.

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Rekha Arora

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