One day, as I was talking to one of my friends who told me that she could only find fulfilment and personal development in relationships with others and that she wasn't made for meditation, the story of a particular tree was whispered in my ear. I'll let you discover it here:
Once upon a time, there was a tree.
This tree had once been a seed of another tree.
A big tree, it remembered.
This seed tree wanted to be as big as the one that had dropped its seed into the ground.
After all, it was in its nature to be tall.
And that was good because when you were tall you could touch the world with many more branches, you were in contact with others, you could see more things, and be more present.
So the little tree seed decided to grow fast and strong towards the sky.
And so it did.
The tree grew fast and strong.
It was among the tallest trees in its area.
Birds came to make their nests in its branches.
Its branches touched the clouds and the other trees.
"It is a wonderful feeling to be so big, so connected to the world," the tree thought.
But then one day a great storm came to the area of the big tree.
The other trees told him to hold on tight to its roots.
The tree tried to connect to them and to the soil that supported it, but it realized at that moment that it had been too impatient to grow outwards and had not paid attention to growing its inner branches.
As the storm approached, the big tree fell to the ground, taking other trees with it and the bird nests that had taken up residence in it.
The big tree began to cry, sad to see itself lying on the ground with those it loved so much.
Decaying in the ground, it promised itself that it would think of its roots next time.
A seed from that tree survived in the ground, safe in the wood compost of the big tree.
The seed remembered that it had once been a large rootless tree that had fallen.
The tree seed promised itself to be very careful with its roots, to be firmly attached to the earth, and not to grow too fast.
And so it did.
The seed grew many roots in the earth, which happily intermingled with those of other trees and species.
It received all the information from them, supported them in difficult times, and distributed glucose and other food to the sick and growing trees.
So engrossed in its underground work, the tree did not think of growing its trunk and branches on the surface of the earth.
It remained a roots tree, so much so that its roots began to intertwine with each other. Preventing the liquid of life from circulating. Receiving no light from the sky, they began to rot and the tree was soon eaten away by the mushrooms that settled on it and found it delicious.
In its heart, however, remained a small seed, protected by the shell of roots that the roots tree had formed.
This seed remembered that it had once been a great rootless tree that connected to the sky and to others that had fallen one day in a storm.
This seed remembered that it had once been a roots tree, connected to the earth and to others, which had once rotted for lack of light.
The little seed decided to grow in both directions, towards the earth and inward as well as towards the sky and outward.
And so it was.
The little seed became, in its own rhythm, a tree with strong roots and tall branches.
A tree growing in both directions.
Each time a new branch grew, the tree remembered to return to the earth and strengthen a root there.
Each time a root grew stronger, the tree grew a leaf to store light.
The tree had understood that nothing goes without its opposite and that balanced movements in both directions are the only ones that make us last.
This was the story I heard when I fell asleep in its trunk at the dawn of a winter morning.