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The parable of the trees

Posted by Eldad on 2013-12-30 17:50:14, Monday

I'm repeating a story told some years ago to a friend which I found very powerful; I hope others are equally effected. I'll add some comments to offer an interpretation as a response in due course, but I would encourage you to think about it for yourself before looking at my ideas.

"Once there was a wood in the which all the trees enjoyed the wind blowing through their branches. As the wind blew they would sway bending before every gust. Twigs, branches and trunks all responded as it moved through the wood.

Then one day the wind stopped blowing. The trees waited but the wind did not return. Day after day they waited and waited, but still the wind did not blow. After many days the trees began to talk amongst themselves wondering what they could do. They really missed the excitement of the wind rushing through the wood and the way it made them move. An older tree said that there had been times before when the wind had not blown, but that it had always returned. It encouraged them to keep on waiting until the wind blew again, promising that it would.

Most of the trees however did not want to wait and kept discussing what they could do. Finally, one tree suggested that they could make themselves move just as if the wind was blowing. At first the other trees said it was impossible, but they were persuaded to try. At first they could do nothing, but with a lot of concentration they learned to make their smallest twigs tremor just a little. Months went by and the wind did not blow, but the trees became more confident as next bigger twigs and then whole branches began to sway to and fro. Finally, they learned how to make their trunks bend as if the there was a strong wind pushing them back and forwards. The younger trees were over joyed, but the old tree wasn't so enthusiastic, it warned that this movement, as exciting as it was, was not the real thing.

More time went by and the wind still did not blow, and the trees in the wood continued to make themselves sway as if the wind was blowing. Then one day they heard a sound they had almost forgotten. It was the sound of the wind moving through their branches, and as it did those branches began to sway in a way they had not done for a very long time. Then the wind blew stronger and stronger until it became a gale which was blowing so hard that their trunks were bending before it and branches were breaking off. In the midst of the chaos one of the younger trees asked the old tree what was happening. The old tree replied with a smile that this was the real thing. It was dangerous, but it was the real thing."

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