The remnants of Isaac just blew through the Northeast and brought with it the eventual change in seasons that many of us enjoy in New England. These winds and news from the south about the destructive force that Isaac brought ashore made me think about a lesson I was given a number of years ago before children. Yet it took my children to help me apply it, everyday.
A tree represents many things, is represented by many visuals, and means a lot of different things to almost everyone.
People do a lot with trees: Plant ’em, climb ’em, cut ’em down, burn ’em, shape ’em, carve ’em, write about ’em, paint ’em, and draw ’em.
As the temperatures cool in the northeast I love watching the greens of summer turn to bright reds, orange, and yellows. Eventually those colors turn to the brown of winter and finally turn to shades of red as the trees bud the cycle is brought full circle turning the world green again. I know there is a lot more contemplating to do, but that may be for another day. Or maybe not! Be a Willow, Not an Oak.
During some difficult times with my own family, I was told, “Be a Willow Tree, Not an Oak.” At the time I heard the words but was not really listening or ready to apply the lesson. Why? Because I was on a path to being an Oak tree because Oak trees are strong and stubborn. Yet even then I loved thinking about the strength and size that comes out of that little acorn. The oak tree is another mystery of nature and a reminder for everyone to not “judge a book by its cover” because you never know what talent every one of us has hidden inside.
Yet for me as a father and provider I am learning that the Willow is the true inspiration.
The Willow is where it is AT!
Think about it. Children test our flexibility.
If we don’t flex we B R E A K!
Each day, each tantrum, each test brings with it the challenge of how we as the adults are going to respond. Are you flexible enough to bend and respond when the storms blow through, or do you snap? If you are a teacher or counselor, do you flex to teach children the appropriate way to respond to misplaced anger? When the angry winds blow through can you allow them to blow by or do you stand tall for the sake of standing strong and risk the break? I learned, there is always going to be a storm that is stronger than the mighty Oak that will snap it to its core.
Flex for yourself. Flex for your children. Dance with the wind and play until you are the supportive parent and provider our children need us to be in their lives.
Be a Willow and bend to see another day.
PSSSST – As with any lesson there is a caveat to consider……
Don’t forget, you may also want to spend some personal time focusing on balancing the deep roots of the Oak with the flexibility of the Willow. Just a thought I had.
Image Credit: Tiffa Day