Honouring the journey back to you.
I recently took a holiday back to my homeland – Scotland.
After emigrating to Australia 11 years ago, I had previously returned home to Scotland a few times for family events; but this visit felt different. I was returning with no other purpose than to reconnect. Reconnect with family; and reconnect with the land. After the enforced isolation of covid, I no longer took for granted the freedom to travel and the ability to touch base with my homeland whenever I wanted.
What I didn’t realise as I set out on my trip, was that the reconnection I sought was more with myself than I had previously realised.
The last 11 years has been a period of transformation. I prioritised personal development and began a soul journey to discover my passion and my purpose. This was an important journey; a journey back to ME.
I was now returning back to my geographical roots as a more evolved and truer expression of myself than ever before. As I arrived back in my homeland, it felt like the final destination in the journey back to myself. I was surprised to experience a connection between myself and the land that I hadn’t felt before. Maybe it was because I had previously been so far removed from my inner knowing that it wasn’t possible to connect to the subtle energies of the earth. Perhaps I just hadn’t developed the awareness until now.
One of my favourite places to ‘be’ became the forests and woods. I was drawn to the harmony of the forest and noticed not only the co-habitation of plants and animals, but more importantly, the symbiosis of everything thriving in perfect balance. The trees created protection from the wind for the ferns to stretch, and the moisture from the rain provided the perfect environment for mosses and fungi and wild berries, which in turn supported animal and insect life.
Everything in balance – everything thriving.
Under the protected canopy of the oaks and pines, new life could be seen emerging and beginning its journey. I was drawn in particular to a number of oak saplings, no more than 30 cm high. Each a perfect miniature of the parent tree.
I was reminded of a metaphor I had read recently. Although I can’t recall the source or quote verbatim, the gist of it went something like this:
This got me thinking. Why then, do we judge ourselves and others for not being the final product? Why do we find it so hard to honour where we are in our journey, and fail to see the perfection in every stage of our growth?
The larger oak trees have a lifetime of knowledge locked within the rings of their wood; a permanent record of all the storms weathered and an acknowledgement of how each of these storms ultimately led to their growth and expansion. Each layer built strength and resilience against future storms; integrity of structure; whilst facilitating a deeper connection with mother earth through the roots.
The sapling, although no less perfect, is more susceptible to the storms and the incidental risks and dangers present at the beginning of every worthwhile journey. Buffeted by the wind and stretching for sunlight, the perils of this early stage are so necessary in order for the sapling to grow and reach its fullest potential.
In some life situations we are the aged oak, and sometimes we are the sapling. Each perfect. None less connected than the other. The sapling is connected into the web of life and has access to all the same nutrients and ‘knowledge’ of the forest as the aged oak; it is just yet to utilise that which is available. The sapling is no less connected, no less aware, and no less important. It is just yet to meet the storm that will shape it and facilitate its growth.
We are all connected to mother nature and all have the ability to use our storms to build resilience and strength. It is just a matter of perspective.
If you find yourself the aged oak, may you access your inner knowledge and may you appreciate the storm that ultimately allowed you to thrive. Think about the shadow you cast over others, and see the perfection in others, no matter what stage of their journey they are at.
Should you find yourself to be the sapling on the start of a new journey; allow yourself the grace and acknowledgement that you are perfect as you are.