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The Tree Within Us

Updated: Feb 11, 2023

I love books for children. And you know why? Because I feel that many of them are simple, clear, short, and beautiful. Some have illustrations that can just take your breath away. The language is so very precise because one cannot write a grand thesis or a large mammoth saga to drive home a message to a child.

Therapeutic Storytelling is widely recognized all over the world today. The idea of therapeutic storytelling entails narrating a story that would help heal and restore something that is off balance within us, into balance. It is based on a similar principle to that of homeopathy where- 'Like cures like'. The story becomes a mirror of one's own state. The awareness of that state through the story becomes the focal point of an inner revolution.

A story that would foster a sense of community and yet individual uniqueness is the story I wrote titled - 'The Tree Within Us'

Once upon a time, there was a tree, that was in the middle of a grand big forest. It was a tree that had seen many seasons over the years. The tree had so much to give, so much to tell and so much to offer this world. The tree is some way, had made many journeys of its own.

One day, a little boy, came into the forest. He seemed lost and alone. His eyes looking down at his worn out sneakers, he silently walked ahead, and bump! He banged his head against the tree. Ouch!, He said as he rubbed his forehead with his palm. He felt so sad at that moment, that his eyes welled up brimming with tears.

He looked at the tall tree and felt the rough texture of the tree trunk. There was something about this tree that made him feel like giving the tree a hug.

As the boy wrapped his arms around the tree, he closed his eyes. He felt the hard yet comforting embrace of the tree as he tried to clasp his fingers as they met around the tree.

'This tree is within me', he said to himself. He hugged the tree a little tighter.

The tree within me is partly a seed. The seed of all the things that will help me grow, to learn, is all within me. He thought of all the times he learnt something useful, how to read, how to walk , how to play with his friends.

The tree within me is partly a fruit. It could be any fruit, that looks and tastes good. But there can be fruits also that do not grow well, however hard it tries. It shrivels up and falls off eventually. Just like life, where everything we do, may or may not bear fruit. In spite of trying, some things we do will not prosper, and we must accept that.

The tree within me is partly a bark like the heart that makes me who I am, It protects what is within me, and allows me to live fully.

The tree within me is partly a flower. Some aspects of myself shine and look all colourful and that is what makes me unique in this world. I can make others happy with my presence.

The tree within me is partly shade. A place to rest for others.

The tree within me is partly the wind, the sky, and the rain, the birds, and the bees.

The boy sank to the ground, folded his knees and rested his back against the tree. He closed his eyes.

The leaves along the branches rustled with the wind as warm sunlight beamed at various places on the ground creating a play of shadow and light.

The tree smiled and spoke to the boy in his deep soft voice.

Dear One, I acknowledge the tree within you.

And now, I have something to tell you.

I have seen many storms and faced many difficult times. Those days, when I didn't think I would survive, I held my ground. My roots run deep, and they remain fastened to the earth.

Also, my roots are connected with the roots of other trees. That is how we exist in this world, as a part of one another. Even if we are in different parts of the planet. we can still love and care, and help one another.

The changes of the season would give me a cold, many a times, just like changes also make you feel ill. But, then I learned that changes are for a reason. One season after another, that is the beauty of life. And now, even if the weather changes, I do not get a cold anymore. I am proud of that.

The tree within you, my child, is the tree within all mankind. We are made up of different parts, but we contribute to the whole. We can be named differently, grow in different environments, and have different needs and unique qualities, but in the end, we all exist as who we are. You are who you are, and I am who I am.

In our similarities, we find a common bond and in our differences, we find our unique gifted strengths.

When the strengths within one individual, come in contact with the strengths of others, healing happens. And that is the truth. The truth is that we all are eventually walking each other home.

The boy finally opened his eyes. He realized he was crying. These were happy tears, for today he learned, how similar he was to that tree, whom he will always carry within himself from now on. He thanked the tree for giving him this present.

From that day forward, whenever the boy walked down the same path through the forest, he made sure he always gave that tree a hug. As the boy grew older, his talks with the tree helped him navigate through life's ups and downs. The tree shared the joy of the boy's laughter and was a bark to cry on, in the boy's distress.

The boy then shared his experience with his tree with his friends and family. Many more people visited the forest, to have their own conversations with the tree. They all gained insights that were elusive to them for many years, and they found a companion in their tree, which was truly remarkable.


The Storyteller_Mumbai

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