When I can find something more compelling to write about than the endless miracles of nature, I’ll be happy to include more of a contrast in topics for this blog. But for now, it’s another post about nature.
While out walking earlier this week, I was peacefully taking in the Spring landscape and noticing the buds and blooms everywhere. I was thinking of writing a post about how all of life, including blooms, start with a bud, and we can’t skip over the development part, of our nature. But instead, I was struck by something else.
I noticed two trees that were standing together. They both had pink-ish blooms, but they were not the same type of tree. I’d say one was a cherry tree and one was a dogwood tree, but my meditation training reminds me to relinquish the habit of labeling things. So I will just say they were both beautiful. And the thought that struck me was this:
When two of nature’s masterpiece creations (call them a cherry tree and a dogwood tree) find themselves next to one another, they don’t attack. They don’t strike, or poison the earth from which they both arise. They don’t shrink to become smaller than what they are, because they are afraid to outshine the other. They don’t look at their trunks and start comparing tree physiques, and create extensive narratives about the shape of the other and how it makes them feel unworthy.
When two of nature’s masterpiece creations stand next to one another, they know better than to do those things. They know nature’s secret of connection. They didn’t learn it in advanced preschool, or private AP classes or on an Ivy League campus. They didn’t complete an on-line study program, or use an app to teach themselves. They never needed to learn it, because they were never talked out of their internal instinct that together, we are greater than the sum of our individual parts.
There is enough room on the planet for as many masterpieces as there are life forms. The trees know that the unique strength and beauty of a neighboring tree, are not threats. They actually add value to their own. And in this reciprocal exchange of positive energy, both trees become more beautiful, as does the aggregate image of the the whole.
When we see someone doing well, let’s celebrate that person, knowing it is further proof that we too, can do well. When we see someone beautiful, let’s honor our own experience of being beautiful and know that beauty is not a zero sum game, with winners and losers. When we see someone blossoming, let’s bless that new life by sending love to that person. Let’s not see the blossoms as competing, but as integrating like mini-invitations to nurture our own.
The idea that these two trees would do anything but stand in the wholeness of their individual and combined Glory, is nuts. So too, are we nuts when we feel threatened by someone else’s prosperity instead of joining in the celebration. So too, are we nuts when we contract our hearts because we don’t have the “shine” that the tree next to us has. So too are we nuts when we try to get smaller, because we don’t want to outshine the other tree either. Nuts, nuts, and nuts.
Mother Teresa talked about seeing God in everything and in everyone. If it’s good enough for her, it is good enough for most (if not all) of us. Look for ways to bring value to whatever street you are planted on, and train yourself to find value in others as much, if not a little bit more than working to find it in yourself. We can’t become more of who we are, until we see each other as beacons of light on our shared path of healing.
As we work to unlearn the human trait of attacking goodness and feeling threatened, let’s try to start by simply taking a deep breath and settling into the perfection, the nature, the connection that is our birthright. And stop listening to all the reasons we should be attacking each other instead of standing in Glory together.