Standing before the ancient oak, I look up in awe. I close my eyes and meditate, wanting to hear him, wanting to understand something to help me feel good inside myself.
“What do you see when you see me?” he asks me as I close my eyes.
The first image that comes to my mind is his enormous trunk. Large and gray he reminds me of an ancient elephant. “I see an elephant.”
I look deeper, eyes open, at his depth, his crowning glory, the tremendous canopy that extends across the driveway and partly covers the roof of our three story home.
“I see a giant, ancient and wise, who has been here a long, long time. You are old and yet so strong. How did you get to be this way?”
I long for the depth of his stability. I long to stay in one place with such grace and style as this tree. Yet after only two months in my ‘dream home’ I am feeling antsy. The gypsy-soul in me is dreaming of other places already.
Frustrated with myself and my inability to maintain a content feeling being in one place, I have come to meditate with this strong and stable wise one.
“How do you think I came to be so old? How do you think I have survived so well?” he asks me standing silent and still.
Looking inside myself for the answer, after a long pause, he answers the question for me.
“By being me. I am a Live Oak. This is what we do. By being me, I am here.”
How simple. How wise.
“Cat, just be you.”
Suddenly a smile returns to my face. Be myself. How profound. How liberating.
Feeling as if I have been given permission to dream again, to let loose and not worry about how long I am in one place, I walk away from the tree. I am free to walk away, to run, to play, to hide or to be here now.
With the liberating feeling that I can go anytime I choose, I choose to stay…a little longer…another day. And I am happy. I am free.
Suddenly being here feels good again.
Cat Staying Elk