Tree

Breaking free

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I have just come to the conclusion that I have been stuck for years. That sounds strange, of course, because you would say that one should know that for sure, but all I know is that I am stuck in the damp earth and no matter how much I wring and wrestle, I can't get out of it. I don't even know how I got here. It seems to me that I just walked and walked, without being aware of anything and who knows what happened to me. Maybe I've been asleep all this time, maybe I'm suffering from amnesia, who knows? I'm clearly an older person and I know that, so apparently I've seen other people. I don't see them here. I am all alone.

The mud sucks me in. The only thing I managed to do so far is to get my hand to my stomach. So now my right hand is against my stomach, and that feels better. My left hand, on the contrary, is stuck behind a root or so of the immense tree above me, the leaves of which sway in my face when the wind blows.

I did say that I had been stuck for years, but time doesn't really mean much to me. I see it becoming day and night, but how many times that has happened while I'm sitting here: I don't know. It is probably not very useful to ask myself how it all came about and how long I've been stuck here. The problem is there now, so I have to find a solution. I immediately notice that this is a good idea. Something is shifting in my being and now it seems as if I have more space. My gaze has also become sharper and I focus on the tree. What a huge, dark creature it is, that protects me from water and wind but also holds me with its roots. The crown of leaves has spread out so wide and the branches are so low that I see nothing but soil and tree. Or rather: I see shreds of the sky, which is now blue, but often enough grey or almost black. Sometimes light shines through the leaves and now I realize that the tree has grown so big, precisely because of the light and the warmth. That it has grown towards the light.

Suddenly I laugh at the thought of comparing myself to a seed that is stuck in the ground and now has to grow towards the light. But then I know that the comparison is not so bad after all. It's really as if I'm buried like a seed, and now busy germinating. The thought warms my whole being. What would happen if I act like that, like a seed that germinates? How is that supposed to happen? Instead of my attempts to pull my left hand away, which all came to nothing, I now decide to hold on to that pinching root. I carefully wrap my hand around it and it actually seems as if the root gives way, resting itself in my hand. I can move my fingers and fold them around the wood, which feels good now that I am no longer resisting. I'm pulling myself a little bit up at the root and really, I'm getting a little higher. Wouldn't it be my imagination? Is this possible?

I concentrate again on the situation of an underground seed grain and - partly because of the experience I have just had - I conclude that such a seed has to become so soft that something can come out of it. It's problematic, because I don't want anything to come out of me and my skin isn't hard, I think. But inwardly then! This comes as a call from my heart and I think about it. Yes, indeed, inwardly there could well be a hard crust and from within, something new may emerge as well. My inside seems to be firmly locked and I am probably the only one with a key. Only: how do you soften yourself inside? Maybe I can scan the crust and find weak sports in it. I look for the crust and suddenly see it clearly. A rock-hard, grey crust that nothing can get through. Well, of course something can go through, my heart shouts! It may be like the leaves of the tree: when everything is at rest, they form a thick blanket, but when the wind plays with them, there are spots of light and air. When it rains, the branches are heavy and dark, but in the sun playful and supple.

The crust seems to be listening, because it is cracking somewhere. I feel the crack with my right hand and try to pry a little to make it wider. That doesn't help at all and on the basis of my new experiences I switch to a completely different method: I gently stroke the crack and immediately release pieces of crust. It's a long piece of work, but I don't count the days and continue stroking, while my left hand is firmly holding on to the root.

What's so strange now is that all this time I didn't notice that I'd been pushed up in the meantime! This happened like a natural consequence of my changed posture. When I look up, the tree seems to be laughing. The trunk looks lighter and slimmer and the leaves are bright green. More and more warming rays come through the leaves and I'm starting to feel so good!

There is still a long way to go, I know. I'm still stuck, but there's so much space inside that it doesn't really matter anymore. I will continue my work, so if you don't mind, I'll get back to it. Thank you for listening to me. It has been a great joy to share this story with you. Please spread the word to the other seeds.

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