Why we should become trees in rough situations

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Table of Contents

The boy who wanted to be a blacksmith

“You will not!” A loud voice sounded from the center room in the mansion. There was a long silence. Nobody replied. The door to the room opened and a young adult walked out the door. His head down. Through his hairs, you could see a tear slowly gliding down his face. It dropped down on the floor leaving a mark on the red Persian carpet. His body shook as the doors slammed shut behind him. As if the door was the final slam to release, all his tears started flowing. He stood there. In the middle of the hallway. Sobbing. “How could he?” The young adult thought to himself. He wiped the tears off his face but didn’t bother to get them out of his eyes. He was still crying so he covered his face by looking down and hanging part of his long hair in front of it. For a moment he looked at the carpet. It was red and looked extremely soft. As a kid, he had played and laid on it many times. But now as he looked at it he couldn’t stop noticing the tree on the carpet. This one single tree. He hadn’t noticed it ever before.

A thought popped into his mind. The forest was nearby. It was only a short walk and he’d be in the presence of the trees. He decided to go immediately. At home, there was nothing that could excite him or make him joyful. A few minutes later the first branches passed over the young adults’ head. He looked down at the leaves, the roots popping out of the ground and some mushrooms here and there. The boy thought of the discussion with his dad earlier that day. The young adult wanted to become a blacksmith. One of the best. He had always been fascinated by this craftsmanship and if he had any chance of going there he would go. He looked at how the already aged man would get the fire started. How the hot liquid came out and was poured into a mold. The blacksmith’s beard was covered in black dust and coal as his hands slammed on the orange glowing cast iron. Slowly shaping the metal into a sword that was handleable for a warrior. It was a noble job the boy thought. It was a job both serving and important.

His dad thought differently. That was the whole problem. It was a noble job. It was a good job. One that required skill and hard work. The only thing his dad couldn’t wrap his head around was the money. He had been a trader for his entire life and inherited the company from his dad. Not only that but the boy knew he was of noble birth. Which meant he was better than the others. So a job like a blacksmith wasn’t worthy of him. He needed to make money, not do something like cast swords out of metals. After some time his head started to spin. The two worlds had been clashing in his mind for way longer than he had noticed. For years had he want to become a blacksmith but he was crippled by his fear. His fear of not being good enough, but mostly his fear of his dad. His dad was a rigged and strong man. Decisive and hard-working, yet always on edge. Stressed and worried about his sales. Too often he would get mad or annoyed. Mostly on the fact that he was different. That he wasn’t like him as he was like his dad.

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The boy decided to sit down. His head started to become heavy and he required some rest. Slowly but surely he starts to settle in the idea that he will not become a blacksmith. It didn’t calm him but the ongoing fight in his mind was in a truce because of it. He closed his eyes for a moment…

Brown robes

He jumped up. He had barely closed his eyes. Or at least he thought so. Who touched him. He could have sworn someone put his hand on his shoulder. Then again a hand was placed on his left shoulder. The boy stood there frozen. His eyes searched for something to grab to attack the stranger. Going from left to right, scanning the ground, looking for stones or sticks. He couldn’t find any. He slowly turned himself around and saw a glimpse of a brown robe. He then turned around completely and was greeted with a friendly smile. “Hello my boy, are you okay?” The man in the brown robes asked. His hair was black and cut in a bowl head shape. There was a monocle dangling on his chest. The man didn’t seem harmful, but the boy didn’t want to take any risks.

In an instant, the boy ran off. Pulling himself out of the grip of the man. It wasn’t firm so this was easy. The boy ran and stumbled in some branches. He fell but got up again. He ran further. Made a sharp right turn, then another right and the one to the left. Zigzagging through the trees. He was out of breath and looked behind him. There was no one there. So he decided to sit down behind a tree. Trying to catch his breath. He couldn’t think of what had happened with his dad earlier that day. His senses were heightened. But then again he felt a hand on his shoulder. “Boy, don’t try to run away.” The gentle raspy voice of the man in brown robes sounded again. “Wait what? How was this possible.” The boy thought. He looked around and yet again the man was behind him. His hand was placed on his shoulder. Once more the boy jumped up and ran away. This time further away. Deeper into the forest. He ran and ran, and after a few minutes of nonstop sprinting, the boy was exhausted. He dropped down behind a tree again. Looking out over a small creek. On the other side of the creek was a row of trees, its branches hanging over the water. “He was safe here,” he thought to himself. He kept his eyes open for a few minutes but closed them out of exhaustion. He heard the songs of the birds sitting on branches above him.

I wanderer in the forest

His heart pounded again. His ears were wide open. “He wasn’t mistaken, right? He heard footsteps. Could it be that man again?” He opened his eyes and there he was again. The man in brown robes. Sitting cross-legged in front of him. The boy was both scared and relieved at the same time. He felt a strange sense of calmness and peace coming over him. The stranger didn’t seem to want to do him any harm. He knew this. The boy sat up straight again and looked the stranger in the eyes. The man smiled at him and had a friendly, patient look in his eyes. He felt in no rush to move or ask anything. The man simply looked away and looked up to the trees. He listened to the birds and so did the boy. Listening to their melodies, their beautiful songs. All individually different and yet beautiful together. “Why are you following me?” The boy then asked. The man in the brown robes stayed quiet for a moment. “I am not following you.” He simply replied. “I am simply wandering these forests just like you.”

The boy was frustrated by his answer. “Still you must be following me. You can’t just wander around and keep finding me.” The boy answered. “Oh no my dear boy, I am not following you. I am following my heart and if that is leading me to you it must be that way.” The man replied. The boy looked confused but understood that the heart knew more than he could ever understand with his mind. “So why are you here then and who are you?” The young adult asked. The man waited again. Patiently looking around at the trees. “I don’t know he simply replied. I am just a simple monk, who lives in the monastery just a few minutes from here.” The birds filled the silence that followed. “But maybe I should ask that question to you, my boy.” The monk asks with a fatherly tone, trying to comfort the boy with his presence. The boy thought to himself and replied “I came here to clear my mind.” “What for?” the monk asked.

“I’ve been in a discussion with my father. I want to become a blacksmith but he won’t allow me. He thinks this is no job for someone of royal blood. But my heart tells me becoming a blacksmith is the one thing I should be doing right now.” The boy explained to the monk. The monk simply nodded and didn’t say anything. He was now sitting next to the boy and kept looking at the trees across the creek. “Are you even listening?” the boy asked annoyed. “Yes I am my boy, I was just looking at the trees. They have much to teach you.” The monk answered. The boy was confused. “How could a tree help me?” He thought to himself. “Nature whispers my dear boy, it will never shout at you.” The monk replied softly as if he had heard what the boy thought. The boy released a sigh, now in even more confusion than before. The monk raised his hand in the air pointing up and slightly tilting his head up.

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Be as a tree

“Do you hear that?” The monk asked the boy. “What should I hear?” The boy asked in complete confusion. “That’s why you can’t hear the whispers of nature my dear boy.” The monk turned his head towards the boy with a serious look on his face. “If you only think and never listen you will not hear the whispers of nature.” A small pause indicated that the monk had to gather his thoughts. “Do you see that tree there, across this little creek?” The boy nodded. “That tree has much to teach you. You know why?” The boy didn’t answer, so the monk continued. “That tree could be you. Rigged and steadfast. No one can move that tree with their bare hands. They would need tools, strong tools to get them down. Not even the wind can take it down. It has grown over many years, layer after layer. Thickening its roots and feeding off that little creek.” The boy wondered what the monk wanted to say to him. “How come that tree don’t fall or break? It’s a large tree, which catches a lot of wind. Wouldn’t it fall over if the wind picked up?” The monk stayed quiet again.

“The tree would break and fall if it hadn’t moved with the wind. Now boy, look at that tree again. Do you see how its branches move with the wind?” “Yes,” the boy simply replied. “If the branches would have been stiff they would break. So the tree is perfectly balanced in its surroundings. It’s rigged and strong not moved by others, yet flowing the events of life, like rain and wind, as well as sun and clouds.” “But what can I learn from this ‘whisper of nature’ you so lovingly explain to me.” The boy replied cynically. The monk sighed and seemed to be disappointed. Still, he continued. “You want to become a blacksmith, but your father thinks this is no good. Your father is like the wind and storm is too this tree. It tries to break it and move it, yet the tree simply flows with it. Staying rigged and strong at its core but moving its edges with the wind. It never changes it’s being, it’s always a tree. So you can be a tree.” The monk took a big breath of air and gently closed his eyes. “If you stay rigged and strong even in your branches your father will easily break you. But if you stay rigged and strong in your roots and flow with him you will find ways to become you. To be who you are and want to be. So often do we fight those who are in our way? Trying to convince them of our truth, we stay rigged and strong. Breaking both our spirit and our bond with them. This is a tragedy. We do not have to force ourselves to become who we truly are. We can gently go there. Staying rigged at our root and soft at our branches.”

The leaves rustled as the monk spoke those words. He looked up and smiled. “You see the tree agrees with me. This is the whisper of nature. It is trying to tell us and teach us in moments of pain.” The boy laughed and a weight seemed to have lifted off his back. “But how can I become like a tree?” He asked, eager to learn more from the monk. “By staying rigged in your core and listening to your heart, as well as knowing that your branches are flexible. You can become a blacksmith, but know that your father doesn’t want you to. He wants you to be safe and prosperous just like he is. Be aware of this, don’t blame him for this, stay true to your core. Stay with your dream to become a blacksmith. Do not go into a fight with your father, there is no need for this. Just follow your heart, making small steps towards that dream. If you fight your father some of your branches will break if not all. Fighting is the root of pain, but if you give in and just let it be your branches of joy will prosper and grow.” A bird landed on one of the branches of the tree. “And if I do that even other birds will come to rest at my place and continue their journey.” The boy said. “Yes, Yes,” The monk said excitedly, clapping his hands. “You are getting it now. You can indeed become a resting place for those on their journey, teaching them how to be them. Don’t be so rigged boy, your dream will come true but never at the pace you want it to happen. Life isn’t bound to time. Time is something we created. Your dream will come true my boy. Keep working at it, go to the smith and learn from him. Show your dad your dream can make him proud.”

The boy stood up. Feeling light and inspired. He thanked the monk and ran back home. The monk stayed seated, enjoying the view. Thanking the trees and the trees replied with the rustle of their leaves and the songs of the birds.

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