If there is such a thing as reincarnation - I think I want to come back as a tree. As I make my way up the hill each day I often stop to look at the trees. I mean really look at them. Studying the way they stand there day after day, month after month, year after year. They are so strong and yet so flexible. They sway in the wind, they grow leaves and then shed them each year, they dig their roots deep, deep into the earth.
Sometimes as I walk I will spot a tree that has lost a branch, or as in the case of this picture a piece of the tree has been whipped away, leaving a large jagged piece behind. What happened overnight to make this happen? I don't remember hearing the roar of wind, I don't think there was lightning overnight -- but there it is, evidence that something took a piece of this tree away. And yet, the tree stands there strong and true. As the leaves come back that scar will be covered over and become invisible from my view point down here on the ground.
I like to talk to the trees as I walk -- thankfully there is no one around to hear me. When I talk to them I thank them -- for their bright, new green in spring, the shade they give in summer, their bright colors during autumn, and their bare branches against a bright blue sky in winter. Oh yes, I long to be like one of these trees. Perhaps I should start practicing their grace and patience. Perhaps I can even begin to capture the peace that seems to belong to each and every tree.
"Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a giant tree in the midst of them all". - Buddha