The deeper rooted a tree is, the less likely that it would be uprooted in a storm, and the longer it also endures, as a consequence of its deep rootedness.
I got a call from a friend today, and she was telling me of the multiple defeats that life has been dealing her businesses in these Buharish times. She told of the struggle to keep head above water, of the mounting bills and the mountains of seemingly endless hurdles and challenges, some institutional, and several created and nurtured by the Nigerian state in all of its evil manifestations. She was inconsolable.
The communion of pain is better achieved when a sense of relationship with the pain might be established, and in keeping with the ways of the human, I shared some of my own pains with her. I told tales of my several defeats, the betrayals suffered, and the treacheries. I told of yesterday’s friends that have been revealed as pure fiends and frenemies, I told of those for whom I had taken bullets in the past, but who are today directing bullets my way. I told of the ones whose teeth were saved by me, but who bites with reckless abandon today.
But as my friend remains inconsolable, I remember the lessons taught by the trees. If you can endure and listen to the trees, they do have a lesson to teach, and a sermon to preach. But only to the wise.
When you plant a tree, be that a fruiting tree, ornamentals, or timber. Any tree. The first quest of the tree, is to put down its roots. It might not be immediately visible to the untrained eye for a season. The maize plant, cassava, even the almighty yam, would have been long harvested, before the tree sapling would be visible to the untrained eyes. As the perennials grows taller, always planted in the season of the abundance of rainfall, or somehow watered, the tree grows down in search of underground water sources.
The maize plant is aware that it has no need for roots, and that its water source is to be found on the surface. It grows a stem designed for flexibility in the winds of the fields, and a root designed to hang on to the soil. Nature is efficient, and nothing is wasted on the corn stem. It is designed exactly for its purpose, and so are the trees.
The truth is central in creation, and it is the influence inherent in all of creation. All trees are aware that they would be around for a long time to come. The tree races to find secondary water sources in the knowledge that the droughts would come. Yes. But it races downwards for another reason that might not always be quite as obvious. The deeper rooted a tree is, the less likely that it would be uprooted in a storm, and the longer it also endures, as a consequence of its deep rootedness.
The tree unaware of its purpose would fret at the growth of the corn stalks, and it would bewail the several seasons of harvested corns, whilst yet it struggled to be seen. But the purpose influenced the design from the dawn of the ages. Those that would achieve a lot are always assailed, proofed in the furnaces of afflictions and tried in arduous battles. But if you are rooted, if you are built to endure, if you were designed with purpose in mind, you’d endure through the storms, however fierce the storms might care to be, in the knowledge that you were designed to live through the storms, in the knowledge that you are equipped to outlast the storms.
So, my friend, it is my remit to tell you the lessons that I was taught by the trees. The storms are bound to come, but you were designed to weather the storms. The storms fulfills their purposes when they rage, and they cannot be the excuse for your failure to fulfill your own. Keep your head up, the storms shall pass. Na season.