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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Is it a tree or is it a miracle

My Dad once had my brother and I look at a piece of wood all day long. Why? He did it because he wanted us to see inside of our own minds.

The story goes like this. One summer morning on our way out the house to play he stopped us and placed a piece of wood on the dresser in our shared room. He then told us, “If you can tell me what you see, I will let you go outside and play.” Immediately, I told him that I see a piece of wood. At that, he denied our entry to the outside world of friends and leisure.

He then told us that he would be back every hour to see if what we would see had changed. Every hour on the hour we went through this frustrating drill of telling him we see a piece of wood, failing to understand what he did not see. We were visibly upset every time he came into the room and longed for our mother, who was at work, to save us from this encounter with the “sensei”.

There was no relief all day as the drill continued. All day long we continued. About the time that the sun was beginning to go down my father came into the room and started to teach. He went into the long spill that every father goes into when he is attempting to teach his little cubs something about life and then he told us how wrong we were. He continued by sharing with us what it was that he saw.

He told us that he saw a seed that became a tree; he saw the plant that became a tree that became the home of various forest creatures. He saw the leaves that came from the tree that nourished insects; he saw the tree that provided shade for humans and animals alike. He saw a table that was made from the tree along with fire wood for warmth. He saw paper that came from the tree and materials to build a home. He expressed the years that passed to make the tree something to be respected and not taken for granted. He talked about the space that the tree occupied and its inevitable reuse by nature.

My brother and I never saw things in the world in the perspective we had previous to this encounter. We stated looking at what things were, what they are, and what they could possibly be. We really started to begin to attempt to see the entire picture as it concerns all things. I, personally, started to realize that simple things were too often taken for granted and that we ignored, too often, the many miracles around us. To this day, I believe, that was one of my greatest days in school…………………EVER!

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