Tag Archives: Inaction

The Parable of the Tree and the Rock

Once upon a time there were two friends. They were really good friends, and had been really good friends for several hundred years. One was a rock, a large rock. This rock, in his current, state,was only partially above the ground. There was a lot more of this rock below the surface. Sometimes things are like that, you have this small part sticking up, but you don’t realize that there is a fantastic amount of depth here. And no matter how much you dig into this, there is still more to discover. The other friend was a tree. A big evergreen tree.

The two friends lived high up in the mountains. They lived near the tree line, which is the border between where trees grow, and where they can’t grow. Being on the border is convenient, most of the time. You can enjoy both worlds, because you really live in both. You can enjoy the openness and fresh air of the side where trees don’t grow, and you can enjoy the companionship of other trees and animals and squirrels where the trees grow. The rock of course, doesn’t care, because he is a rock. All he needs is a piece of ground to anchor himself to.

Of course, there are other rocks, that aren’t fixed. They have a whole different set of circumstances. They can roll around, finding themselves sometimes on land, sometimes under water. The funny thing is that rocks that are stuck in the ground sometimes feel envious of the rocks that can roll around, and vice versa. The truth is that you can really enjoy who you are, regardless of your situation.

So one day the tree and the rock were talking. The tree seemed worried. Because he was an evergreen tree, he needed a fairly consistent source of water. The rock, of course, being a rock, didn’t really need that. However, he was kind, and because they were good friends, he would listen to his friend the tree when he had difficulties.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do!” said the tree. “It hasn’t rained in a long time!” The rock could understand the problem, as the trees hadn’t been looking to well lately. It seemed that there had been some kind of change recently, and the water hadn’t been flowing as much as it used to.

“What do you think I should do?” The tree asked.
“Hmm. Let me think about it, and I’ll get back to you.”

A few weeks went by, (of course without any rain) and the tree was getting more and more desperate.

“I think I have something,” The rock said one day.
“Maybe you should try something different?” The rock suggested.

“But I don’t know what to do. I’m only a tree,” he replied. Now the rock was very smart, because he was very old. The tree was only several hundred years old, but the rock had been born in the time of volcanoes, and so he had a lot of experience in these matters. He had watched many things come and go, and many different friends he had made over the years had died.

“All of my old friends, they died, because they all had the same excuse. The dinosaurs said they are only dinosaurs. And look what happened to them. You must be innovative. You must do something different. How else can you find a flow of life sustaining water?”

“But isn’t the rain the only way?”

“No, It is not. Look, over there,” the rock said. The tree wasn’t sure which way he was pointing, because the rock, being a rock, didn’t have any arms to point with. Finally, the trees saw. The lake. The pristine lake off just above the tree line, surrounded by nothing but rocks. Rocks that don’t need water.

“Can you grow your roots over towards that lake?” the rock suggested.

“I’ll try.”

Several weeks past. One by one, the other trees of the forest succumbed to the dryness. One day, the rock woke up, and noticed the tree looked a bit more greener than usual.

“You look like you are feeling better today, old friend!”

“Yes!” the tree happily replied.

“I finally got some water to the lake. Look at all that water! I can drink from the lake for hundreds of years without rain now!”

The rock smiled inwardly.

“You see, my friend? Because you were able to reach out for what you needed, instead of waiting for it to come to you, you have lived, while your friends have died. “

The tree smiled, and nodded his thanks.