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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sometimes you just have to find a tree and lean on it

It was day one of the staff retreat. The day that my team was meeting under my leadership. Staff and volunteers had come from across the country and I had to lead them, inspire them, and encourage them. The trouble was, I wasn't feeling very inspired myself. I was just feeling.... well, kinda blah. Low energy and low motivation.

Halfway through the day we took a break. It was a beautiful day and we were close to the woods and the river, so I went for a walk. Near the Red River, in the middle of a small wooded area, I spotted the largest tree I have ever seen in this province. It would have taken about 4 people with their arms fully spread to make a circle around that tree.

I spread my arms as far as I could reach and leaned against that big solid tree, my face pressed up against the rough bark. I stayed there for a few minutes, just leaning. Borrowing energy from a tree that had stood through more than a hundred prairie winters and a myriad of floods, storms, and pestulance. Soaking up inspiration from a life-force that had born witness to endless human and animal stories. Finding encouragement in this remarkable source of oxygen, shade and beauty. All the while, thanking the Creator for this love-song shaped like a tree.

Refreshed, I returned to my meeting.

6 comments:

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

That tree is a gift and your experience with it a sign of your openness. I can not imagine the size of that tree. I saw some immense redwoods in California but never one that would take eight human arms to encircle. How small we are.

Jane Steen said...

How wonderful to find such beauty in the midst of winter! Coming from temperate northern Europe, I often complain about the Chicago winter, that offers nothing to look at but bare trees and snow. Maybe I should look closer at the bare trees.

Heather, thanks so much for all the bounty! When I won your giveaway I had no idea that this would be such an exciting parcel to unpack. A pretty basket, books, earrings (I love earrings), your lovely photos, and CHOCOLATE: solace to the soul all round!

Dovelily said...

Ooh! I love that! I find great inspiration in nature, too. There is a lovely oak tree outside of my apartment that I just gaze at in wonder every time I pass by it. I love that you hugged the tree (as best you could, anyway ;-) ), as I have hugged the oak tree. How beautiful that you found renewed energy from it and returned to your meeting refreshed and ready for whatever came next.

cecily said...

so glad.

and can so identify with being uninspired as a leader! i may borrow your tree hugging practices if that's ok! :-)

Pamela said...

new meaning for the term "tree hugger"
... and I've done it many times and not realized what I was doing.

Lah said...

love tree,, save earth....