Every Tree Was Once a Seed

“We are each given exactly one chance to be”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
 
“Like the days of a tree,
Shall be the days of my people” 
—Isaiah 65:22
 
Every tree was once a seed
that waited.
A seed knows how to wait.
A cherry tree will wait for a hundred years.
A lotus seed may wait a thousand years
for a chance to become a tree.
 
Most seeds hope for an opportunity
that will never come,
to shed their hard coats
and take root.*
 
What does it take to pare away the husks
of our own hardness,
to discover the patience of trees
within  ourselves?
 
In spite of doubt and stubborness,
someone believed in us, nourished us.
So whatever keeps us tethered to obstacles,
let go, focus, begin again,
teshuvah.
 
Life holds the possibility
of inner transcendence,
moments of love and awe
so powerful that they call upon us
to redirect the course of our lives:
to ascend the holy ladder,
to embrace the wisdom of trees
and reach the heights of our
own unique divine stature.
 
*Note: The first two stanzas in italics borrow and rearrange sentences from Hope Jahren’s Lab Girl.

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