Be Like A Tree

As we’re well into the fall season and leaves on the trees have changed, I can’t help but to think of my friend, J.  J had autism and we worked together at Goodwill Easterseals Miami Valley.   I was asked if he could assist me in doing some of my work duties twice a week about seven years ago, and of course, I was very happy to help out!

One thing you must know about J, he was extremely smart, especially when it came to computers. J also had some different ways about himself.   One of them being, he was very loud at times, which sometimes resulted in giving me a headache.  But that was ok, he was my friend.  I’m sure I gave him a headache too sometimes with all my girly ways.

After working with J for a while, I began to learn his likes and dislikes.  He didn’t like when I wore my hair in ponytail because he told me. Yes, my friend J was very blunt.  We had many conversations on how being blunt could hurt someone’s feelings or could get you in trouble.  J took heed to my friendly advice, yet he still wanted me to know when he didn’t like something. J and I then made a pack, he could whisper in my ear, so no one could hear!

Later on, I learned J and I had something in common, the love of trees. When he got agitated, I would tell him, “Let’s go take a tree break”. J loved looking at the trees, they helped keep him calm and chilled. He expressed his love of how tall they were and how beautiful it was when there leaves blew in the wind. In return, I expressed that I loved trees because no matter the climate, it still manage to stand strong.

More people need to be like trees. Trees are rooted in the ground to stand through all the junk life throws its way. Trees are very useful and have multiple uses; people can climb, play, use its branches to start a fire, use as a resting place, for shade, and they even give off oxygen for the earth. They can also bear fruit to feed whoever is in need of its harvest.

Life is a roller-coaster; change is definitely going to occur. You need to be ready and planted like a strong tree so you won’t blow over. It’s not good to always worry about every little thing because life’s events have already been determined by a higher power and the outcome has been set.

My friend J, moved to another state seven years ago but I wrote this post as a tribute to him. Whenever I see a tree especially with its leaves blowing, I think of him and smile. As you grow, remember to be like a tree.  There are many types in the world to choose from and they are strong and serve the very important purpose of making the world a better place. Pick one you would like to be and stand tall!

10 comments on “Be Like A Tree

  1. Dave Burrows on

    Thank you Shari. I love this story. I am sure J thinks of you all of the time as well. To break down life to this simplest thing like a tree is great. Sometimes we need to take a deep breath, embrace our surroundings, and remember we all have a purpose.

  2. Michelle Feltz on

    Shari, I remember J and I too was very fond of him. He too did not like it when I wore my hair in a ponytail and he quite frankly told me that he didn’t like curly hair 🙂 He was okay with the fact that purple was my favorite color. If I remember correctly I believe his was green. Great memories. Regarding the tree, I can’t agree with you and Debbie more. I love trees. When my husband and I were looking for a place to call home, we chose our property because of the wooded lot. I love the beauty God provides us and how His art changes with the seasons!

  3. Pam Green on

    In my house, we always say “make life a tree and leaf,” so I was glad your blog post wasn’t a farewell! How lucky were you and J to have found such a great friend at work. It was wonderful seeing you this week at ODDC, Shari—loved the icebreaker. You are such a dynamic speaker.

  4. Kim on

    I, too, have the same need…whenever I want to get grounded and settled, I find myself needing to take a walk, especially noticing the trees wherever I am walking. It’s wonderful to experience their diversity and beauty, regardless of the season or weather.
    Thanks for another great blog post.


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