Once upon a time there was a tree. It was a very, very thick tree. This tree stood in the middle of a pathway.
The tree, while on its own, was not alone. Other trees lined the pathway; and some stood looking back towards its entrance welcoming family friends and visitors alike to the historic home.
There was a bench there. It is there no longer, but it used to sit centred, against the boundary wall, thirty yards from the main gates and ten from the tradesman entrance which lay to its right. It was old worn grimy and weather-beaten.
There it did sit, up close to the rare orchids which everyone attended as favourably as they disdained the bench; for it no longer played host to anyone of good repute.
I sat there once. I had slunk in by way of the tradesman entrance. As I sat it reminded me that I was not and would never be its peer; and yes, I could rest as it was still sturdy, but we shared no affinity.
It drew my attention to the tree. So lifting my tearful eyes and crying heart I looked at the tree. I looked, and then I saw.
And this is what I saw.
I saw the years before and behind me. I saw the history of my walk through life. I saw that the present circumstance was only a beginning. A new beginning for which, through my current situation, I was well equipped. I paused. I stared at the solidity of the tree. I knew its wisdom and in knowing that, I knew my own.
I saw the power of the old tree and by introspection I also saw my own.
I saw the endurance and eternalness of all that is natural in life. I saw the peace of a long life well lived in harmony with Self.
To look is to look at and to see is to observe to the point of knowledge.
I saw, and knew that all would be well.
My tears stopped flowing.
I got up from the bench and walked towards the tree slowly. I dare not go too close. Dared not to touch the symbol of all that I then was and was to become. In awe I walked until near enough to hear it, for hear it I did. It spoke of love, of longing and yearning. It spoke of a kernel lost stolen or misplaced, and it spoke of this kernel’s love; of its longing and of its purity goodness innocence and desire to be near the old tree. Then it began to sing on the wind, of the kernel even then being strong; of its present circumstance; and its future glory as it too became a mature tree; and of the life it would live, and the joy within it; and the beautiful days it would have in whatever place of Nature’s Kingdom it found itself; of how this kernel though now longing and yearning was not overwhelmed but understood the nature of things; of how the old tree’s leaves were nourishing the kernel from where it was by sending it life, and good tidings, and its own wisdom and strength to bear well the weather that all good trees must have. I listened, and when the song was over, the tree sighed within itself and became silent again. The wind was still. I looked down to the ground where its roots must surely end and I too sighed. A load had been lifted off me. I smiled, and this time as fresh tears trickled past my eyelashes, I knew that it was time to go – away from that place – for I no longer belonged there. I was free of the pain because I understood that a kernel becomes a sapling, and a sapling may bend and sway in Nature’s Garden, but it will not be broken. It will spring and with each Spring it will be stronger healthier more knowledgeable of, and more secure in itself; and the truth of its existence.
I left there, by the main gates, and headed up the road. I glanced just briefly towards the passage which I knew led to a beautiful herb garden just behind the historic home. Maybe next time, I thought, but now I had to go.
In my heart I thanked the Tree. I began to pray for the kernel even as it was growing. I pictured it. A sapling, a sapling! No longer a mere seed but a sapling with roots and every thing that makes a sapling good. I felt happy. I went home with my soul healed. There were things to be done but I was no longer worried. I was ready.