A walk through the forest near my home these autumn days is full of ankle-rolling possibilities.
While the squirrels are doing their squirrelly best to gather and hide the nuts they find, they can’t quite keep up with the pace of the trees dropping their fruit. Walnuts, acorns, hickory nuts, and pine cones litter the path. Growing up in a northern forest, I was completely unfamiliar with the packaging these Carolinian tree nuts come in – what, for instance, is hidden in these brilliantly chartreuse spheres decorating the forest floor? (Of course I picked one up only to discover the deep walnut stain left on my hands for weeks.) Over the season the outer covering with deepen in colour, and eventually decay leaving the nut well situated to take root and grow (unless, of course, the squirrel gets it first!).
Something in the carefulness of this delivery system speaks to me. I am invited to treat the fruit of my life with care as well. It takes energy and synergy for growth to happen in our lives. The “fruit” of our (emotional, spiritual, psychological, as well as physical) labour sometimes has a long way to fall before it can take root on it’s own – am I taking the metaphor too far? In the forest of my life right now, I am gathering fruit from the labour of several years of school, training, certification and I’m a little impatient with the next steps. As usual the wisdom of the forest seems to be “be patient”, and even though the squirrels tend to make me a little anxious, I am trying to listen.