Murphy’s Law did its worst for Sandrine that day: a puncture on the way to work, an unhappy customer, a colleague being horrible, the boss 45 minutes late for the meeting, the computer crashing. Sandrine was torn between anger, exasperation and wanting to burst into tears.
A colleague offered to give her a lift home and was invited in for a drink.
As they walked across the garden, Sandrine stopped in front of a tree, placed both hands on the trunk, leaned forward, and took a deep breath. Then and only then did she go and open the door.
To her colleague’s surprise, the miserable Sandrine was now radiant. She was playing with her children and kissing her husband and seemed very cheerful and happy.
Sandrine explained, “When I come home at night, I leave my worries at the foot of my magic tree. I ask it to look after them for me so I can give my family my full attention.
In the morning I go to get them back, but the magic tree has made most of my worries disappear during the night!”
What about you? Where could you leave your worries so they don’t worm their way into other aspects of your life where they have no right to be?
Jutta is the person with the strongest roots that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.
She is the very image of a tree rooted in the earth, because she has never left the town where she was born, she speaks the same dialect no matter which language she is using and she single-handedly represents a region and a local way of life.
So far, there’s nothing really remarkable about this story – until this country girl puts on her rucksack, walks across India or finds an excuse to chat with any strangers that she comes across in an unknown country.
She has an open-mindedness lacking in many city dwellers who consider themselves cosmopolitan. I’ve certainly learnt a lesson of humility from her. She has always said that she admires my life as a multilingual businesswoman and serial homing pigeon. And yet,
staying with the tree analogy, it is Jutta who has branches that extend in all directions touching on philosophy, religions, open-mindedness, complete lack of judgement, and is an example to many of us.
She successfully combines the deepest roots with the longest branches. But she still lives in the place where I was also born.
Who is the “tree” with branches longer than yours that you admire in the place where you were born? Tell them. They will be pleased to hear it, and leaning against their trunk will do you the world of good. I know from experience.
Many of us loved the flying scene with Bernard and Bianca in Walt Disney’s The Rescuers. Wilbur the Albatross dons his aviator goggles and takes off with the two mice in a dizzying drop from a New York skyscraper.
Albatrosses are splendid birds: their wingspan, their elegance in flight, their intrepid dives.
Some of us in our areas of interest are albatrosses.
They may have difficulty taking off with their cumbersome wings. On the ground, they are clumsy and awkward, and that’s how we think of them. But when circumstances allow them to take flight, they are utterly majestic. Albert Einstein said:
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life thinking that it is stupid.
Who of those around you deserves to be looked at it whilst in full flight?