325. Trees

I remember visiting a friend who lived at the top of a valley. 

From her garden you could look right across the valley to the other side. On the slope of that ‘other side’, was a line of trees, working their way up the slope. From looking at them, it was clear that the oldest was the one nearest the bottom, and the youngest was the one furthest up. 

It seemed clear that over time, the tree at the bottom had given birth to the tree next up, which in turn had given birth and so on, quite outside the consciousness of each tree, which was simply expressing itself in each moment; expressing itself through the soft earth; expressing itself through the open air; but despite the tree’s focus on its expression in the moment, it was nonetheless walking through time.

It’s hard for us to practice in this way, and to live in this way, because we believe that each moment is enfolded within the skin of memory, judgment, perception, anticipation – the body of an enduring person.

What we need to understand is that we are not smeared across all the moments of our life. Each moment is infinitely faceted and must be fully expressed now. If not now, then when?