That is a question in a must-read- book Like a Tree by Jean Shinoda Bolen.
I started to read Like a Tree during the weekend and cannot put it down. If you are a tree person, I guarantee you that this book will be one of the most important in your library, if it not already has that place. As it is for many children, trees have always been my special friends during my early years. Growing up I began to draw tress and paint them and later, simply love walking in the woods and feel their presence.
Do you know that if it were not for the trees, none of us would ever have been here to populate Mother Earth? There would be no breathable air to fill our lungs for every breath we today take for granted. Trees began their formation some two to three billion years ago. First they became ferns that grow to enormous size in the Carboniferous period, which began about 350 million years ago. After millions of more years went by and layer upon layer of them fell into decay, pressure and time transformed the vast ferns into coal. Removing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, the giant tree fern forests made the air breathable. They also made it possible for more sunlight to reach the surface of the Earth through the clearer air.
Trees throughout history have been associated with symbolic references. The most well known today may be the Tree of Life. An oak may just be an oak until a symbolic insight, a ritual, or synchronicity gives it deeper meaning. In his essay “The Philosophical Tree”, Carl Jung summarized the usual meanings of the tree as a personal symbol: The commonest associations to its meaning are growth, life, unfolding of form in a physical and spiritual sense, development, growth from below upwards and from above downwards, and the maternal aspects of protection, nourishing, shade, permanence, and rootedness.
As you may have read in my previous post, I often use the symbol of the Tree in my courses on our Creative Path. Here I want to share another Tree of Life that allow each leaf to become a memory of important beings in this person’s life. Each leaf with its own personality and name. Just the same way as it is on every branch on each tree that you will ever see. I encourage you to make your own Tree of Life. Get out some colored papers, a pair of scissors, a pen, and a glue stick. Have fun and be surprised at how rich your life is, and it all started with the most marvelous beings of all… The Tree.
Cannot stop without asking you this question that you may discuss with others if you do not have the answer: Does the tree make a sound when it falls in the woods when there is nobody there to listen?