By now, just about every single individual in the United States, if not the world, is impacted by the current COVID-19 outbreak. Depending on where you are located will depend on the severity of cases as well as the severity of the impact it is having on your daily lives. You may be anxious waiting at home self-isolating under “shelter at home” orders, or you may be in an essential job field and are required to continue working in society with varying levels of potential exposure. No matter where you are on the impact spectrum, we are all in this together one way or another.
But especially during anxious times like these there are several points we can really learn from trees:
Get deep roots:
To help protect yourself from being blow and tossed around in howling and changing winds, create a strong root system. If you ever notice the most common trees that are blown over in storms are those with a shallow and wide root system. However, those with deep roots are able to stand firm, stay more grounded when strong gusts are at their door step constantly trying to knock them down. With deep roots, you’ll be able to better withstand external pressure that is trying to blow you over from whichever and every direction they hit.
It’s better to be in the woods than alone in a field:
If you ever notice that trees that are alone in a field or yard, not surrounded by any other trees are also the most common ones you see blown over during storms and disasters. Trees within a forested landscape are better able to withstand winds and rains from disaster because they have a buffer to help them withstand the elements that allow the impacts to be distributed and dispersed across the landscape rather than a lone tree. Now, in our particular instance with the necessity to adhere to social distancing to protect those we love, we do not want to take this take-away literally to be physically surrounded by people. However, the concept applies that when we have a strong community and strong support system with good friends and family, it can help us better mentally handle times of crisis. Having a community (even a virtual community) will help you withstand the battering winds.
It’s sometimes a necessity to turn over new leaves:
MOST hardwood trees lose their leaves every winter. This is a necessity for them. And when spring comes again, they sprout new life with new leaves, growing and expanding their reach. Sometimes it’s a GOOD THING to lose things because then that allows you the ability to be renewed, stronger, taller and more beautiful than before.
Forested landscapes are interconnected:
Natural or plantation style forests each play a purpose and have other species dependent on their survival and growth. There are some plants that require shade to be established and grow. Different wildlife require different parts of the trees either for food or shelter. Trees provide clean air AND clean water for every living organism. So even though it can sometimes seem like it’s just “one tree”, it DOES have a purpose in the bigger picture and impacts so many different levels of the landscape from it’s roots to the tips of it’s leaves. Many times, the impact ONE can have is more than what is obviously visible.
To survive, trees need to grow . . . especially in height. If trees do not grow in height, they will usually be stunted since they can not receive the sunshine that they require to reach it’s potential, and may ultimately become overshadowed and stunted. During this time of year (spring time ya'll!) it is especially evident the necessity to grow in height. If you look up outside at your own trees- especially at pine trees – you’ll notice they have already started “candling”. Pine’s new growth (candles) are the light yellow stems at the tips of branches, and during this time they take the shape of a “cross”. To me, this is just further justification to continue to keep my eyes UP. Pines will continue to candle their crosses every spring- sharing with the world that things will be okay, if they only remember to keep their sights looking up.
So wherever you are during these trying times, I pray your trees and forests will continue to provide you inspiration and help to keep your spirits uplifted.