I am reminded of a time my father asked me how many friends I had. I don’t remember the number i gave him but he immediately told me it was impossible to have those many friends. He asked me if I knew the difference between friends and aquaintances and my mind was blank. I was 11 years old.
Today I understand why he said it was impossible to have the number of friends I had mentioned.
Over the years, I have listened to many people speak about the relationships we are involved in. These vary from family, business, work, love etc but the principle still stands. The two most profound lessons have come from two analogies. One of the tree and the other the Decades of Growth. Today I write of the former.
I dont remember quite well who introduced me to this one but the lesson sticks to this day. This person suggested that everyone we interacted with in life could well easily be like any of the features on a tree.
He told of the people in our lives who are like leaves. They come in and fall as easily as they arrived. I was asked if a tree remembers the many leaves it loses each day and I wasn’t sure because it seems like those that fell were as easily replaced and forgotten. There are people in our lives who would walk out tomorrow and we may never notice they left. We wouldn’t be able to account for their presence because of the insignificance of their contribution. Now this doesn’t mean leaves are not important, they are. They are simply forgettable for as long as the tree is healthy.
We explored those in our lives who are like branches. Our day to day support systems that we may confuse as lifelines. And then he told me that I must never forget that even if a branch was cut, the tree would still live on. There are people who seem like our stability but we could well easily live without them.
We spoke of the stem. The one that stood the test of time. Transported food and kept the tree standing proud and tall. We spoke of it’s commitment through bad weather and in times when branches were cut and leaves all fallen. And yet, it was possible that the tree could be cut at the stem and still live on.
And then, we explored the flowers. Full of beauty and sweet fragrances that warmed our hearts. Those people who are in our lives for a short time but leave a beautiful impact. Many times we forget that they are only there for a season and just like a fresh flower, they wither and die but the memories linger on.
And then he warned me of a common human practice of many attempting to ensure the flower lived beyond it’s time. This usually have rise to the excitement of artificial flowers. A desire to ensure the Memory lasted at the expense of the fragrance and natural beauty. Such relationships he said were as plastic as a tumpeco and only drained the life out of whoever insisted on it.
Finally we spoke of the roots. Usually hidden under the mud. Forgotten by us as we enjoyed the breeze of life and the flowers before us. The roots that give us life when all else is lost.
Many times we take our roots for granted because they are rarely in plain sight. Many times leaves may have your attention more than your roots.
Don’t Forget your support and Lifeline