Acorns, Oak Trees and Participating in the Circle of Life

April 22

“Don’t be discouraged. Don’t be blue, when things don’t go as you want them to. Remember the mighty oak that grew was once a little nut like you, (that is, like me!).” Sometimes I only see my nutty self and I cannot imagine ever being a mighty oak!

At the age of 80 my dad planted several acorns and nurtured the growth of the small oak trees. Knowing my dad, the “meaning in life,” (to use Tagore’s words,) was that he didn’t need to see it to trust that life would go on and that life would be good and beautiful.

The circle of life – that is, life, death and new life is recognized in the natural world. The new life is always different than the life before death. The seed is different than the plant.

As in the natural world, the circle of life forms a key foundation in faith traditions around the world. My limited understanding of reincarnation in the Hindu faith points to this understanding. The Christian faith proclaims the resurrection of Jesus in the flesh, but with a body unlike that which died.

When I contemplate the fecundity of nature, I do not find a physical resurrection an impossible notion; it seems to be following the pattern of all nature, although it is rather intangible and hard to grasp what it might mean for me today.

However, resurrection is not just about life after death. It is also about new life emerging out of the seemingly dead and impossibly broken areas of our lives, relationships and world. This requires me to trust that this nutty acorn that I am will grow up to be a mighty oak. When I trust in Resurrection Life, I can see it working in my life, and in the lives of others.

The work of spirituality, religion and psychology is to accompany us on our journey to resurrections and wholeness. I look to Easter to show me I can trust in life out of death now in my little deaths and at the end of my life. And the new life I see around and in me helps me to trust the Easter message that Life will always win over death.

Gratitude Prompt: Give thanks for the signs of new life emerging in the Spring’s warmth that remind me of new life in me.