The Strength of the Oak

I am writing these blogs – thoughts from my spirit and my mind and my heart.  I have no idea if anyone at all is reading them….I write them to process things for myself, to help me see who I truly am, what Spirit looks like when it flows in and through me, what I look like, in my clearer form.  But it’s also nice to think, to hope, that others may be sharing this, may share these awarenesses and thoughts and feelings, others who are traveling along on a similar path….others who understand, who get it, who may also feel this way. Who knows?


Today I went to a lovely 50 acre tropical, botanical garden, called Leu Gardens.  It is a peaceful place, not truly wild, but ancient feeling in places. There are lush, green plants there whose origins trace back millions of years. It is a tended place, with walkways and varieties of tropical plants and huge, old trees. Walking past an area of old oaks, thick and wide in girth, they seemed to call out to me. I stopped at a nearby bench to sit and journey, to see, if I could, what was there, what was waiting to happen between us.  As soon as I greeted the spirits of this place, I saw many towering Oaks gathered around me, towering above me, looking down at me, a tiny person in their midst.  A tribe of giant Ents, they seemed, with kindly, wise eyes. They knew what I needed: they wanted to share with me The Strength of the Oak. Theirs is an unselfconscious strength….a strength that just IS, with no agenda. It is powerful and rooted, a natural and authentic sense of holding steadfast. I needed this, and it seemed to me that, as their strength flowed into me, it began to fill up an abyss of deep, corroded cracks I sensed throughout my being….cracks that came from FEAR.


I need this strength. Often, it can feel overwhelming to deal with all of the energies I sense coming out of people…all of their issues and woundedness, the strange and aberrant and so often reactive behavior, including my own, that can, at times, come roaring out of someone when one of their issues gets triggered for some unseen reason. I am so sensitive to it and so aware of it.  Who knows why someone has fallen into one of these dark whirlpools….but there they will be, coming in from this direction or that, feelings that are distorted, irrational, hurt, angry, sad, aggressive, unstable, withdrawn, unloved…..

When I was a little girl, caught up in the deeply unhappy and virulent dynamic between my mother and father, even though I was a timid child, I found myself trying to mediate between them…hopelessly trying to bring some healing and cohesion to the pain and devastation I felt swallowing us all.  Without knowing it, a deep, deep fear settled upon me – this fear of dissolution, of the survival of all of us being overturned and horrifyingly immanent. It is a terrifying thing to see those you love hating and hurting one another, seeing them desperate for something unbearably out of reach. It is a terrible fear for a child, trying desperately to hold something together while at the same time being so terrified oneself that it feels as if you have come to the razor sharp edge of the world and are about to topple off into nothingness.

Now, as an adult, I become more and more of this old, hidden, locked in pattern still working within me. Like an earthquake shaking the world, that old, terrifying FEAR will rise up unexpectedly, whenever I hear a sharp word, or feel an unspoken rage, or see an angry, withering, or contemptuous look.  An old, old, terrified child, frozen part of me still thinks that I must somehow, impossibly step in, shaking in what feels to be the deepest part of me, to fix it – to bring light and awareness into this darkness – to step into this violent, massive maelstrom of rage and pain and fear so that everything will be ok…so that this monster with blazing eyes waiting in the bushes to spring out at me, or at those I care about, will be exorcised and turned away.

My spiritual work these days has become very very clear, as I see this more and more.  All of my prayers and meditations and journeys have been about this – the need to move beyond this, and Spirit is definitely working with me.  I am in the spiritual crock pot to be sure. All of my awareness and training is focused to find my roots, to find that deep place of strength, of steadiness, so that I am not swept away or entangled in it any more. Suddenly, recently, I remembered that scene in the John Travolta movie, Phenomenon, where he is irradiated by an extraterrestrial energy beam and gains the use of much much more of his brain, becoming a genius.  At one point, he has so much energy to expend that he is working maniacally, frantically, burning himself up. Suddenly, he just stops, and looking up at the trees swaying in the breeze, it is obvious that he is coming into a harmony with something else – sensing and tuning into the deepest rhythm of the world, of Spirit, of Nature. It calms him, and brings him Peace.  When we, in our human consciousness are caught in disharmony, it feels as if it has a terrible power of addiction and repetition behind it that can be a vortex, if we continue to focus on it.

I remembered that moment from the movie, and so I, too, now use it…seeking that moment, that place where all is in harmony, beyond the wounds and fears we may think we have become trapped in – that place so far beyond these things that they do not even exist.  It can also be called Love.  There IS an orbital pull that this Fear can have on us, and we can continue to feed it and revolve around in the maelstrom of it – even though in the Highest, Truest sphere of being, it is but an illusion. When we are in THAT place, all of this is but a momentary thought form. It is, in fact, nothing, a momentary dream.It can be a challenge to step beyond it, when so many are swirling around in it, all around you.  My practice these days is to shift that focus, moment by moment, to not get attached or involved with it, even if those closest to me – my friends, or family, or spouse are caught in it.  I have to chose something beyond that because I can no longer swirl around in those toxic and desperate waters.  I know now, that as strong as they may seem, they are not real. I cannot, will not take it personally, or take it on, or get involved with it, or let it drown me, and hardest of all, try to fix it, because that way is desolation. We must wake from these bad dreams and hold steadfast in something else.

And so – The Strength of the Oak.  The strength to just be.   To sway with the trees, to be absorbed in the rays of a sunrise.

Leave a Comment