John Ciardi - Wish Tree

  • Examine the lives of the best and most fruitful people and peoples and ask yourselves whether a tree that is supposed to grow to a proud height can dispense with bad weather and storms; weather misfortune and external resistance, some kinds of hatred, jealousy, stubbornness, mistrust, hardness, avarice, and violence do not belong among the favourable conditions without which any great growth even of virtue is scarcely possible.” – Nietzsche

Arbor Day today celebrates trees for all their fruit, lumber, shade, beauty, oxygen and other gifts they give our world. They also provide life lessons for people who examine these enduring creatures. I particular enjoy the reflections Father Brian D’Arcy shared in BBC’s “Pause for Thought”…

  • “I love the story of the old violin maker who always chose the wood for his instruments from the north side of trees. He believed it was that side which was beaten and buffeted by the hardest and fiercest winter winds. When the winds blew, the bending trees groaned under the storm. Yet the violin maker didn’t feel sorry for them. ‘Listen,’ he would say, ‘the trees are learning to be violins’. When life is dark and difficult and when the winds of change break open our hearts, we become stronger through weathering the storms.”