Lessons From an Oak Tree

All photos by Seán Ó hUltacháin.

Kindness. To shelter millions of creatures smaller than you who feed on you and in return they keep you healthy.

Rootedness. To fall back to your roots when you die.

Strength. To take great strength and be strong inside by the countless small actions performed by the leaves over hundreds of years.

Solidarity. Have big roots which help bind a community together whether it is a forest or human one.

Think of the future. Dissipating back into Mother Earth and thereby nourish the next generation and all life.

Resilience. To lose great boughs which crash to the forest floor amidst storms but still stand quiet and strong despite a destructive and chaotic ordeal.

Letting go. Shedding your leaves annually and starting again.

Enriching your surroundings. Every year leaves are shed which will enrich the soil and help the prospects of the young to grow better.

Every little bit helps. Every little leaf plays a role in the Earth’s atmosphere by producing oxygen, moderating water cycles, being food for wild creatures and improving soil for acorns to grow. In the same way everything we do has an untold impact on the world.

Relax. Every year winter comes and the only thing to do is take it easy.

Follow your heart. An oak tree does not try to be anything other than itself.

Be guided by the light. In the same way oak saplings grow towards the light we should do what makes us grow as human beings. Whether that be the good people in your life or by your passions. Do what keeps worries and stress at bay and what really makes you happy and gives you a sense of purpose in life.

Be present. An oak tree lives totally in the moment doing the best it can.

All good things come in their own time. Like the oak tree we have to wait for the high days of summer.

Collective effort. Only by the collective effort of 1000’s of oak leaves over many years does an oak tree grow strong.

Cooperation. To lose almost all of one’s seeds to hungry squirrels but to have evolved to let this bio cooperation take place where the squirrel will willingly plant the acorns ( a portion of which will survive to be future oak trees) and in return receives a year of food. Such genius is known as collective evolution.

From a little acorn grows… From one acorn a whole forest can arise.

Seán Ó hUltacháin is a mystical writer and Celtic illustrator inspired by the natural heritage, history and folklore of his homeplace of Bréifne, Éire. You can find his Celtic art, nature photographyg and mystical writings at @macnadara on Instagram.

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