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Updated: Mar 5, 2021

Taking advantage of the circuit-breaker a.k.a. lockdown last few months, I made a new friend across my balcony. It took time for her to trust me as I was never around to pay attention to her. Having learnt lessons from my meditation practice, I persevered and was finally able to get through to her -she accepted my meeting request but only allowed limited questions as a precondition to the awaited appointment.

1. How are you so calm taking all the heat and rough weather?

“Someone nurtured me when I was a little sapling without expecting any returns from me. He nurtured & protected me from predators, allowed me to grow the way I want and then one fine day, left without any news of his whereabouts. As a tribute to him, I developed strength and resolve to help others in the same coin. My roots are strong, my mind is clear and my branches are flexible – this gives me the resolve to manage my life when winds change.”

2. Isn’t it tiring that you serve without any expectations ? I was never even around you to thank you yet you gave us fresh air. Why?

“Sun gives me heat during the day and moon gives me the strength during the night – do they get tired of serving humanity? Service in its true form is one which is performed with complete devotion and acceptance. You may not feel it today but someday you will realise that someone helped you no matter how “successful” you became in life. True fulfilment is to provide shade to others and nurture them when you are blessed to do so – it’s an opportunity and not a challenge.”

3. But one day, you will not be able to give shade to others - doesn't it play on your mind that your end is near?

“I played many roles in my life – when I was a young sapling, I was like Mercury – enjoying the Sun and Moon - princely and being taken care of , when I grew into a young tree I was like Venus – beautiful and elegant with flowers in my branches and as I have grown I’ve evolved in to a Mother – nurturing everyone around me like Moon. I am fulfilled as I played the role well in all phases and served my duty as demanded in changing times. Even when this journey ends, I will go back to the soil and help Mother Earth to grow new trees and animals.”

4. That’s an amazing thought – no wonder I feel so relaxed and full of ideas when I am with you. Is that something we as humans can learn?

“You are not the first one to benefit from my care. For generations, my ancestors have helped humanity shape lives. Many of the great sages & leaders learnt from trees- some even got enlightened in my ancestor’s umbrella. The Buddha, Waheguru Guru Nanak Dev Ji, learned sages in the Vedic culture and even Sir Isaac Newton changed lives while being in the shade of trees. We are even a key participant in many of your festivals across humanity. All scientists were nature lovers and were able to change the world of fellow humans after learning from her.”

5. There are so many of your fellow trees losing lives for no reason to human desires. Doesn’t it bother you ?

“What do you think? I was separated from my family and brought to your condominium to start a new life – many of my friends weren’t even as lucky and became someone’s sofa or chair or even a mere showpiece. We are the lungs of humanity. Everyone wants fresh air for their own children but doesn’t want to contribute to our homes or improving our lives. People can spend 10$ on a coffee but cannot plant a tree – isn’t that something that you should be thinking?

We are as much a living being on this earth as you are. Your denial is not reality – fresh air has no religion or boundaries- a tree in Africa could be helping people in another continent and is as much a tree as is in the USA or India . I urge you to treat us the way you’d treat a friend – without bias or boundaries and with a sense of gratitude of standing by you through the heat and rain.”

My conversation with my friend led me to plant trees on every birthday (and inspired my kids to do the same). You can at least start with 1 tree.

You can donate to a charity of your choice or pick from the suggestions below:

Go ahead and form that deep rooted connection with Mother Earth. Drop a comment if you do so and inspire others.

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Very good article Amit, nature is the greatest teacher which teaches us free of cost. It's really been amazing to develop the sense of giving and expect nothing in return.

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