The inspiration for this piece came to me while reading the book of Psalms. I was seeking answers, but found more questions. Then I saw the vision of the tree, and everything it represents. So I write.
“But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Psalm 1:2-3 KJVAAE
The tree is breathing. We breathe. Sap runs through the tree, nurturing all parts. Blood runs through the veins of the human. The tree is rooted—connected to a mysterious and unseen underworld. Yet it is at once free and expansive as it soars into sunlight, reaching towards heaven. So, then is the one who knows themself. As above, so below.
Beneath the tree it is dark, cold, and heavy. All sorts of small creatures writhe through tunnels in the dirt. And there are snakes, and worms. These are the gruesome things that creep and crawl into the nightmares of children. They pinch and they sting, and they make hair stand on end. Rodents burrow deep within the root system. Life is rotting and decaying, the smell is death. Fear engulfs the human, and they suffocate in the blackness. This is the place of darkest thoughts, evil designs, confusion, and all manner of disgust. Yet, this is you. And this is all of humanity—the underworld lurks within each. The terror of our own darkness buries us alive.
Beside the cool waters, the tree basks in the brilliant sunshine. As God comes through the garden, the leaves rustle. There is warmth, and light. There is life in the forest. All are growing, expanding, and majestic. Beauty is everywhere, and all corners of the earth are fruitful, and prosperous. The tree is tall and powerful, surveying the world from a lofty place. The fruit is nourishing, sweet, and plentiful. Such is the one upon whom God smiles. Such is the one that extends their branches in a perpetual embrace offered to the world.
But is this not the same tree that is rooted in the darkness of the underground kingdom? Does this tree not extend to a tremendous depth beneath the surface? This tree flourishes even as it is entrenched in all that is described as terrifying and putrid. I wonder how this could be. And I wonder if it the same for us–we can prosper and experience joy while our feet are caught, as in quicksand, in the bog of sin. Only the tree knows. What wisdom does the tree hold and how will we learn its secrets? The law of the Lord is hidden within the tree. But wait! Is this the tree of life—that which He placed in the center of Eden? Within its fruit is all knowledge, and this precious fruit is within the grasp of all who desire and seek it.
But still I hear that we must go within–within ourselves, within the tree, and within all that the tree represents. We must journey into darkness and decay, as those are truly parts of our inner ecosystem. Go within and meditate on the laws. “But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” Psalm 1:2 KJVAAE
Sometimes we must pass through our own underworld—through the muck of error and ignorance. At other times we run free in the sun’s healing rays. But within is where we find all of this, and it is the place to find God.
Go within, trust, and hope. “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8 KJVAAE
I have seen many seasons, and indeed I have increased from one cycle to the next. I am tall, solid, proudly in service, and yet stoic. The energy of Spring is rejuvenating, and active. It is resurrection. I play in the sun and cherish the green grass and the herbs in summer. I travel the mysterious forest where the scent of Autumn is in the air. Winter is coming. It cannot be stopped. Now my leaves have dried and begin to wither before they are fallen, forever, to earth. Statuesque and seemingly dead, I wait, suspended in a frozen wasteland. Will I awaken and feel the warm sunshine of the sun, and hear the new life? Will I, once again, come to life again, in all splendor? Or is this the final winter for The Tree?
Be The Tree.
Would you like to hear Psalm 1?
With great love,