I have been taking a lot of walks this fall and each time I do I am struck by nature’s ability to communicate some of the most simple, yet profound truths about life.

The world, it tells me, is complicated. It’s messy. It’s beautiful. It’s struggling. It’s thriving. It’s…predictably unpredictable. 

And for some reason, I find it’s message comforting.

It’s as if, on these cold November days, I get the privilege of attending nature’s personal support group. If I take the time, I can even imagine that I hear a silent conversation taking place as I step along the path.

“I’m feeling a little broken today,” confesses a tree.

“I’ve fallen down and can’t get up,” cries its neighbour.

“I’m leafless and cold,” sobs another.

“It’s just the nature of things,” states a stump.

“Well, it feels unnatural to be so exposed,” complains a bush. “I don’t like it.”

“You don’t have to like it,” the stump responds. “Change can be hard.”

“You can say that again,” says a disgruntled fern.

“Once is enough,” replies the stump. “We know what we know.”

“I wish I didn’t know it!” laments a hollow tree. “I wish things were different!”

“How so?” asks the stump.

“I wish things never had to change. I wish my leaves didn’t have to fall off. I wish my roots didn’t have to dry up. I wish the flowers could stay out all year round.”

“But hollow tree,” the stump says, “if things always stayed the same, you would never have grown from a seed into a tree. You would never have sprouted roots. You would never have had any leaves. You would never have seen the flowers.”

The hollow tree ponders the stump’s words. The wind whistles awkwardly as the rest of the forest waits for it to respond.

“I guess you know what you’re talking about,” the tree finally says. “After all, you weren’t born a stump.”

“True,” the stump replies. “I’ve seen the view from the top of the forest and the bottom. Want to know what I’ve discovered?”

“What?” asks the tree.

“What?” echoes the forest.

“Change can be hard,” says the stump.

“You already said that!” shouts the tree.

“But it can also be good.”

“How can it be both?” the tree demands.

“It just can,” says the stump.

“It’s just the nature of things,” agrees the forest.


(Story Copyrighted by Bonnie Tulloch)