More than 400 years old. His age is incredible, but so are his looks. He is impressive. So many stories he must have seen and heard. So much wisdom he must have gathered, but nowadays so many pain as well.
I watch him, circle around, everywhere I see, he is. His roots reach further than I could ever have imagined. Some are even as strong and solid that they could have been a tree by itself. Watching up his trunk, I don’t know where to look for, there are so many of them, he looks like a labyrinth, a wrestling of trees in trees. He must be the oldest tree on the island of Siquijor, or maybe even of the Philippines.
Source of Life
Watching a tree might look stupid to some people. A waste of time for those who are in a busy time schedule, running from office to clients, to the gyms and social obligations, to end up exhausted in bed for a couple of hours before another day of the ratrace begins.
I understand. I’m not trying to convince you to become tree hugger, not at all.
What I like to share you is why I consider trees as admirable and respectable entities on this planet – even besides the fact that they purify the air, capture our carbon dioxide and provide us with oxygen, give us shadow and shelter, and keep the earth cooler than it would be without them, regulate the water cycle of earth by the genius system of evaporation and giving home to the majority of the biodiversity at this planet, fauna and flora, and some of them even provide us with the most beautiful fruits and vegetables we know, from various kinds of nuts to mango’s and apples just to name some.
Source of Wisdom
I like trees because they look wise to me. Often they are older than any one of us, some of them are here for several hundreds of years. They were here before us and they will stand there still after us. They survived many generations of human beings and they will survive many generations after us.
They are the silent witnesses of the milestones in history. Depending on their geographic position, they have seen both World Wars, from the tentakles of the holocaust over the centres of power, the daily suffering of human or the political decision makers. They may have been at the frontline – lots did not survive – they may have been at the peaceful side as well.
They have seen kingdoms rising and kingdoms falling. They have seen power change from one system to another, from communism to capitalism and vice versa. They have been the points of history that has not been changed, despites the changes around them. They have seen things happening which we as human beings might have judged or reacted upon, but they stayed quiet and firm. The silence as their response.
Source of Resilience
Moreover, there are threes for any kind of ground, of natural circumstances. They adapt. They survive. There are the strong oaks who resist severe weather conditions, there are the flexible palm trees who survive hurricanes by going with the flow of the wind.
A tree might be but a tree for many of us, but if you consider their live experience, their knowledge, their wisdom; that silence might be the only right answer.
And lastly, trees are persistent. Similar to water, their roots always find their way. If you leave a men-made construction, like a house, or even an entire city, abundant, the trees – and nature – will take over, sooner or later. It won’t happen overnight, but slow and firm, not based on brute force like human beings change the things, but by pure persistence. One step at a time, they will take back what they were made for.