The Tree of Life

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

– Soren Kierkegaard

The_Mother_Tree_by_outrega

“The Mother Tree” by outrega

It seems to me that a human life is like a tree,
but lived in reverse.
As children, we are as bright green leaves,
fragile miracles, proof of the perenniality of life,
playfully dancing on the wind,
eagerly and indiscriminately soaking up
the abundance of the world,
holding onto life only by virtue of the strength of our parents,
drawing sustenance from roots
whose depths we cannot fathom.
In our adolescence, we are like twigs,
still green with youth,
taking on the form, but not yet the substance, of our parents,
bending to every breeze,
yet straining to grow into something more solid.
In our early adulthood, we are as the branches of the tree,
still somewhat pliable,
but with thicker skin,
stretched between the generation of our children
and the generation of our parents,
drawing nourishment from both, leaf and trunk,
and giving nourishment to both.
In late adulthood, we are like the trunk of the tree,
sturdy like tradition,
bending only to the greatest events in history,
holding the scattered branches of the generations together,
feeling the closeness of the earth
and those who lie beneath it.
And when we die, we pass beneath the earth,
beyond sight,
no longer seen and no longer seeing,
we pass from thick roots to fine root hairs,
remembered for a time, and then barely, and then not,
but continuing always to nourish the tree,
from the sturdy trunk to the least of the tender leaves.

Print Friendly

  • http://paganlayman.wordpress.com Soliwo

    Thank you.

  • http://paganlayman.wordpress.com Soliwo

    Thank you.

  • http://blausternschlonge.wordpress.com Blau Stern Schwarz Schlonge

    For someone of my 60 years, who has been involved in many spiritual paths during my life, this is a most profound poem. Thank you.

    • http://allergicpagan.wordpress.com John Halstead

      I’m glad you liked it. It was important to me for placing me in the context of my changing life.

      • http://blausternschlonge.wordpress.com Blau Stern Schwarz Schlonge

        I have been reading more and more of your blog and really like how your are trying to define the various kinds of paganism and the whole “can you be a witch and worship jesus” questions and others without being aggressive to others ways. I especially liked Meso-Wicca and Neo-Paganism and in another post how you had the three interconnecting circles of the types of paganism. The system i was taught was BTW http://covenofthecatta.wordpress.com/ and it has always been my opinion that the reconstructionist witches took a lot from the christian rituals, though of course it happened the other way back when they started their religion. I will post links to your site sometime today or tomorrow. BB. Shawnus

        • http://allergicpagan.wordpress.com John Halstead

          Thanks, BB. I’m glad you found it helpful.

      • http://blausternschlonge.wordpress.com Blau Stern Schwarz Schlonge

        Ah, now i see why you can put forth your cases so well – you are a lawyer lol. Good luck in your pursuit of religious and Jungian studies. I may just have to relabel myself as a Jungian Witch/Pagan after reading your works here!

        • http://allergicpagan.wordpress.com John Halstead

          Yes, it makes me good at categorizing things. But life is often messier than my neat little categories allow. I have to remind myself of that often.

          • http://blausternschlonge.wordpress.com Blau Stern Schwarz Schlonge

            Well being an anal-retentive categorizer myself i appreciate your attention to detail and references. All these categories are new to me since i started blogging a little over a year ago. Before then i was just raised a simple witch in a Trad that i did not learn until much later was put into a box called BTW. In the end i am just a witch who experiences more alone in the woods than from words in a book, but i appreciate the word play on these blogs i have found, like yours.

  • http://blausternschlonge.wordpress.com Blau Stern Schwarz Schlonge

    For someone of my 60 years, who has been involved in many spiritual paths during my life, this is a most profound poem. Thank you.

    • http://allergicpagan.wordpress.com John Halstead

      I’m glad you liked it. It was important to me for placing me in the context of my changing life.

      • http://blausternschlonge.wordpress.com Blau Stern Schwarz Schlonge

        I have been reading more and more of your blog and really like how your are trying to define the various kinds of paganism and the whole “can you be a witch and worship jesus” questions and others without being aggressive to others ways. I especially liked Meso-Wicca and Neo-Paganism and in another post how you had the three interconnecting circles of the types of paganism. The system i was taught was BTW http://covenofthecatta.wordpress.com/ and it has always been my opinion that the reconstructionist witches took a lot from the christian rituals, though of course it happened the other way back when they started their religion. I will post links to your site sometime today or tomorrow. BB. Shawnus

        • http://allergicpagan.wordpress.com John Halstead

          Thanks, BB. I’m glad you found it helpful.

      • http://blausternschlonge.wordpress.com Blau Stern Schwarz Schlonge

        Ah, now i see why you can put forth your cases so well – you are a lawyer lol. Good luck in your pursuit of religious and Jungian studies. I may just have to relabel myself as a Jungian Witch/Pagan after reading your works here!

        • http://allergicpagan.wordpress.com John Halstead

          Yes, it makes me good at categorizing things. But life is often messier than my neat little categories allow. I have to remind myself of that often.

          • http://blausternschlonge.wordpress.com Blau Stern Schwarz Schlonge

            Well being an anal-retentive categorizer myself i appreciate your attention to detail and references. All these categories are new to me since i started blogging a little over a year ago. Before then i was just raised a simple witch in a Trad that i did not learn until much later was put into a box called BTW. In the end i am just a witch who experiences more alone in the woods than from words in a book, but i appreciate the word play on these blogs i have found, like yours.

  • http://blausternschlonge.wordpress.com Blau Stern Schwarz Schlonge

    Reblogged this on Blau Stern Schwarz Schlonge and commented:
    I would say, at my age, that this is an excellent analogy for our lives. I highly recommend The Allergic Pagan website and will be reblogging more from it as i further read through his excellent and insightful writings.

  • Pingback: Confessions of a Recovering Fundamentalist | The Allergic Pagan

  • Pingback: Confessions of a Recovering Fundamentalist | The Allergic Pagan


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X