The Tree

I’m not sure if it’s coincidence or a sign from a higher power, but I keep running across articles and podcasts that mention how spending time outside, even if it’s just for a few minutes listening to the birds chirp or watching as the wind rolls through the trees, can reduce stress and provide mental clarity.  This theory has been proven correct a few times lately when I’ve been mentally stuck or needed to look at a project from a fresh perspective, and I’ve taken a brisk walk around my office building.  As I rounded a corner on my walk a couple of weeks ago, my attention was caught by the vivid and new yellow-green leaves on a tree that so recently had been bare from winter’s wrath. As I continued my walk, I couldn’t help but draw a comparison between myself and the tree. You see, aging is something that I’m acutely aware of these days.  Lines and wrinkles are trying to form, aches and pains pop up in places I didn’t even know could hurt, you get the picture. Yet on the other side of the aging coin, there are definitely some benefits. I no longer care what everyone thinks of me, wisdom has become my strong suit, and I wear comfortable shoes with zero shame whatsoever. But let’s get back to that tree. I have no idea how long that tree has been there, but the thing that struck me is that no matter how long it has been there or will be there, given the right conditions (nutrient dense soil that allows for proper drainage, adequate amount of rain, and the right amount of sunlight) this tree will continue to thrive year after year with new foliage and new growth. When you think about it, so will we as humans. If we put ourselves in an environment where we are properly nourished from both a mental and physical perspective, no matter how old we grow physically, (barring any medical issues that diminish health and/or mental capacity) we can always turn over the proverbial new leaf. Keep gathering the mental and physical nutrients we need to thrive, keep learning, keep developing healthy habits, keep meeting new people, keep loving the people that bring fulfillment to your life, keep learning new skills, or traveling to new places. It sounds so simple, but there’s so much we can learn from the trees. Keep gathering the things that keep us healthy, weather the seasons well, and you’ll grow and bloom many times over.

Donna Alexander

Donna lives in Flowood, MS. She is married with a 6 year old daughter, and works as a Business Analyst in the field of Medical Technology. Using humor, sarcasm and red wine to make her way through adulthood, Donna prides herself on bluntness and realism. As an avid Saints fan, you can find her sporting black and old gold most weekends throughout the football season. Geaux Saints!

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