Trees and Changing Perspectives

April 30th, 2008

Can a tree morph into something more than what we have seen for so many years?  Sometimes it can, and our perspective or the way we see something changes abruptly as well.  It’s not always easy to accept change, especially if we’ve invested our life or being in the certainty of something. 

For those of us who love exploring the natural world, change is always present and we thrive on discovering new aspects of the world around us.  Maybe that’s what we love about the dynamic, changing world of nature.  Much remains the same, but as with the seasons, each day brings new experience or a new shade of color to our lives.

Early one morning last week I noticed different shades of color between the many branches of this oak tree as the sun brightened the landscape.  A few more weeks and I might never have seen it, but on this day something was different and I was looking.

 Red Oak tree and White Oak tree growing together

My perspective of this tree changed very quickly after noticing that it was not just one, but in fact two trees growing closely together.  And more than that, it’s not just two trees, but two different species of Oak trees growing together.  Why had I not noticed this before?  

In the summer, this seems like a single enormous tree, providing a leaf-filled shady corner to the pond.  But the largest tree trunk on the left with most of the crown is actually a Red Oak.  The double-trunked tree on the right is actually a single White Oak. 

It seems so apparent now as I look at the distinction between the two.  So my perspective of a “three-trunked” oak tree group is very different today.

It’s kind of amazing, because think how much our lives are really like that?  Many of us love making new discoveries in the fields and forests, and yet we are so sure of ourselves, and the way we see the world… until something happens that changes the context of our perspective. 

Our existence and the way we see the world has now changed.  For some of us, these changes in perspective happen at key places in our lives and take us in new directions.  And yet others hang on with a death grip to the frame of reference that is known, afraid to let go and move with the currents of change in their lives. 

I’ve found it’s important to remain open to change, to be willing to let go, and to be receptive to the uncertainty that a new path brings.  Or at least I learn that again and again. 

How many absolutes are there in life?  In many ways, the older I get the fewer there are.  Is it always that way?  Everything we see, hear, feel and believe are all part of the context of our life experience.  And that context, that experience, is always changing.  So why would we ever think it normal to remain the same?

I am humbled by the changes that have occurred throughout my life. I hope to always welcome change and uncertainty, as well as experience that fosters growth.  Sometimes that’s not so easy, yet nature can lend color to the context of our experience and understanding in new ways.  Today I am thankful for oak trees.  

Our lives should be a shifting pallete of colors that grow more beautiful as the years go by.  If we paint only with the experience of one brush or one color, how very dull our lives would be. 


One Response to “Trees and Changing Perspectives”

  1. It’s amazing what we can pick up on if one little variable is tweaked. Just last week I “discovered” a house along a road that I’ve driven thousands of times and never noticed before. I have no idea how I’ve missed it all these years.

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