As I was walking in the woods I came upon one tree that was swaying in the wind when all the rest were standing still. So I asked him why he was the only one moving while all the rest were silent and this is the story he told.
When I was young and growing up I always wondered what it would be like to “let go” and dance in the wind. Everyone around me looked at me aghast and made noises.
They were always telling me to stand up straight, reach for the sun, grow tall and strong and resist the wind at all cost.
So as I grew from a sapling into a tree I tried to be like the others… strong, tall and wind-resistant, but it was so hard.
The other trees murmured that life wasn’t meant to be easy and how could you be a fine erect specimen of a tree if you allowed the wind to buffer you all over the place.
The first thing that would happen is that your roots would get weak. See that poor piece of wood lying on the ground rotting? That was because he let go and swayed in the wind… and see that one over there that no one talks to? The one that is all misshapen and twisted? That was because he didn’t listen to his elders and as he played he grew out instead of up and now wishes he had listened.
I wanted to experience the joy of freedom. To feel the wind in my branches as they moved to and fro. But I had been brought up to obey my elders and they were shining examples of what life was like and how I would look when I grew up, so I continued to resist.
Then one day after a particularly bad storm I did the unthinkable. I was so tired from being pummeled by the wind… trying to stand up straight and tall as I had been taught and resisting it’s every breath, that I just let go.
Everyone started to cry out… hang on… don’t give up… stand up straight… you can do it. But I closed my ears and relaxed into the unknown. I allowed the wind to blow me back and forth and as it did I could feel my resistance breaking up inside of me and allowing me to bend.
The more I let go, the more resilient I became. My trunk became supple and I was experiencing life at a whole new level of existence. I would bend forward and grasp the patch of sunlight that had always been out of my reach and extend my branches to their fullest and feel the vital energy feeding my roots.
The wind stimulated my roots to grow deep into mother earth and I grew stronger and more limber with each passing day. My trunk yielded to the passing wind and I regained the elasticity of my youth reclaiming my days as a sapling.
I particularly love the storms when the winds howl through my branches and I relax in the knowing that with each gust my new found freedom leaves me feeling vibrant and alive. I’m energized, awake and experiencing each moment to the fullest.
The rest of the grove still pity’s me and hold me up to others as an example of what not to do, but secretly I think they envy me. On days like today when the breeze comes up and I dance in the light, setting my own tone, I can feel their roots in the ground next to mine ever so slightly letting go.